The University of California at Davis installed a vending machine on campus in April. The machine dispenses Tylenol, Advil, tampons, condoms, pregnancy tests and Plan B, an emergency contraceptive (video below).
Former Student Senator Parteek Singh told KTXL that he has been working to make Plan B more accessible on campus since 2015.
"The more ... negativity I got from people like, 'Oh, it's not going to happen,' kind of pushed me more," Singh said.
UC Davis student Jordan Herrera told the news station: "It is promoting like, 'Oh hey, go and have unsafe sex because then you have a backup option and it's gonna be cheaper than if you just wanna go to a drug store.'"
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Singh told KCRA that he came up with the idea of the birth control vending machine after a friend was unable to buy Plan B in a timely manner: "They were all out ... and they weren't going to get anything until Monday."
Plan B is also sold at the campus Student Health and Wellness Center, but it's only open during business hours.
Cindy Schorzman, the director of the wellness center, said: "When a contraceptive method is missed, or fails, this provides an option to reduce the risk of pregnancy from that."
However, some Christian leaders are opposed to the pregnancy prevention option.
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Evangelist Franklin Graham voiced his opposition on Facebook on April 22:
Rather than pushing sugar or caffeine, this one is promoting sex. It dispenses condoms, pregnancy tests, and the morning after pill (also called the Plan B pill). They call it a "Wellness To Go" machine -- I strongly disagree.
There’s nothing healthy about sex outside of marriage between a man and a woman as God created it -- in fact it’s dangerous. It is very sad and concerning to see this type of thing embraced on a university campus.
Kristan Hawkins, the executive director of the Christian-based anti-abortion organization Students for Life, referred to Plan B as an abortion drug in her comments to the Catholic News Service: "Colleges and universities should be offering pregnant and parenting students options of housing, financial aid, diaper decks, and childcare instead of handing over abortion drugs. No woman should be forced to choose between the life of her child and her education."
A study by the International Federation of Gynecology and Obstetrics in 2012, found that Plan B, also known as Levonorgestrel-only emergency contraceptive pills (LNG ECPs), prevents pregnancy and does not cause abortions: "Emergency contraception is not the same as early medical abortion. LNG ECPs are effective only in the first few days following intercourse before the ovum is released from the ovary and before the sperm fertilizes the ovum."
Medical abortion is an option for women in the early stage of an established pregnancy, but requires a different drug than levonorgestrel. LNG ECPs cannot interrupt an established pregnancy or harm a developing embryo.