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A university in Pennsylvania has made Plan B — the abortifacient “morning after pill”– available to all students via a vending machine on campus.
After a survey revealed that 85 percent of the student body approved of making Plan B available on campus, Shippensburg University administration authorized the campus healthcare center to dispense the abortion-inducing drug through a vending machine. Students must check-in and show proper identification verifying their age before they can gain access to the vending machine, yet these safeguards do not go far enough.
Students can easily check-in and purchase the drug without ever interacting with a medical professional to learn the dangers and side-effects of the drug, which is chemically similar to RU-486, the abortion pill, and can cause early abortions. The box students collect from the vending machine does contain basic instructions and information regarding the drug, but this is not a substitute for face-to-face interaction with a trained professional, such as a pharmacist. The university counters that there are professionals on hand at the university to meet with students regarding health issues – but upon request.
When reports about the Plan B vending machine hit the mainstream media, the university received a firestorm of criticism. Pro-Life activists argued that the college was allowing students to access this abortion causing drug without informing the students about the dangers associated with this drug or presenting them with Life-affirming alternatives.
The president of the university has released a statement defending the university’s choice to provide students with Plan B, promising that the school will continue this practice. He does concede that, “The question about the dispensing method is a valid one and we will evaluate it through further discussions.”
Emily Kebodeaux, Texas Right to Life graduate school scholar and Baylor law student, encourages Pro-Life Shippensburg University students to pressure the student government to discontinue dispensing Plan B on campus. Kebodeaux explains, “The availability of abortifacients in a vending machine does not promote ‘safe sex;’ instead, it promotes a culture conducive to increased sexual violence and relegates casual sex to something that is as normal as buying a Coke.”
Shippensburg University will invite officials from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to the campus to review its dispensing practices. The university has also put together a panel of students, faculty, medical staff, and other members of the campus community to further discuss the best way to dispense Plan B. Until this panel recommends changes, the university will continue peddling its Plan B vending machine.