University offers students contraception in vending machines - abc27 WHTM

Cumberland County

University offers students contraception in vending machines

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Located in a private room in the Etter Health Center on the campus of Shippensburg University is a vending machine.

It's not your average soda and snack machine -- this one is stocked with cough drops, condoms, pregnancy tests, and Plan B emergency contraceptives.

Etter Health Center has always provided health care and medication to students, but Vice President of Student Affairs Roger Serr says the Plan B was brought on campus after students requested it. Once the emergency contraceptive became an over-the-counter drug, students started asking for it, so the university surveyed students, and consensus was clear.

"Over 85 percent of the people indicated they would support and wanted Plan B to be available in Etter health services," Serr said.

Although it is available at the Health Center, the drug is not included in student health fees.  Students must pay $25 for the drug.

"One of the concerns we had was -- what if someone's morally opposed to Plan B and they are paying a health fee?" Serr said. "We were very uncomfortable offering it as a free service."

That rationale seems to sit well with students.  Isaac Lalani, a member of student senate, said he doesn't have an issue with Plan B being offered at the health center.

"It's whatever the students need, they should have, regardless of how controversial it is," he said.

Other students said it's more convenient to go to Etter Health Center for any type of medication than a pharmacy off campus.


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