Campus, News

Plan B under $8: Emergency contraception vending machine launches at BU

emergency contraceptive vending machine
The new contraceptive vending machine in the basement of the George Sherman Union. Boston University Students for Reproductive Freedom unveiled its emergency contraceptive vending machine, containing Plan B for $7.25, March 1 during a launch party in the GSU basement. COLIN BOYD/DFP STAFF

A five-year-long project came to an end Tuesday after the Boston University Students for Reproductive Freedom unveiled its emergency contraception vending machine in the basement of the George Sherman Union.

The machine sells Plan B for $7.25 — significantly more affordable than other vendors, where prices can reach $50.

Charlotte Beatty, a senior in the College of Arts and Science and SRF co-president, said it was “wonderful” to see the community come together to celebrate the club’s achievement. 

“You can tell how much of a difference this makes for people and how happy everyone is to have this as a resource at BU,” Beatty said.

2021 CAS alum Rachel Shuman, a former SRF e-board member, said the project began when she was a freshman.

“I literally cried when I walked in to see it because there were just so many roadblocks along the way, both from admin and financially,” Shuman said.

Shuman said SRF had received financial support and resources from Planned Parenthood, adding emergency contraceptives are “a fundamental right.” 

The entire current SRF e-board, as well as some past members, was in attendance.

Jaclyn Dimatteo, a freshman in the College of General Studies, said it is important students have access to affordable Plan B given that contraceptives are not 100% effective. 

“People have a negative connotation of Plan B, where it’s like ‘Oh, you should have been smarter beforehand.’ But there are so many factors that can be involved in it,” Dimatteo said. “It is a ‘Plan B,’ you got to have a backup plan.”

CAS senior Hope Ruse said it is exciting to see the completed machine SRF has been working on for so long.

“I think it’s really important that everyone has access to affordable contraception and emergency contraception and it’s really exciting that we’re able to provide that,” Ruse said.

Beatty said it is “very exciting” to witness the culmination of the five-year project.

“To also get to see it come to fruition during my time at BU and to know that it’s going to live on once I’ve left BU. That’s really beautiful,” Beatty said.

The landmark 1973 Roe v Wade case, which made abortion legal in the United States, is currently being challenged in the Supreme Court after an organization filed a lawsuit last year against a Mississippi law that prohibits abortions after 15 weeks.

“It’s really important, now more than ever especially, to show that young people and students who are going to be making the next decisions for our country do stand with reproductive rights and reproductive freedoms,” Dimatteo said.

Members of the BU community can take advantage of different programs through Student Health Services, such as the “Condom Fairy,” which delivers free safer sex supplies to BU students.

Shuman said she would like BU to make reproductive healthcare more accessible on campus.

“This is a great step, but I think there’s still a long way to go,” Shuman said.

Correction: A previous version of this article stated that Roe v Wade had made abortion a constitutional right. The use of the term “constitutional right” is incorrect and has been changed to “legal.” The article has been updated to reflect this change.

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