The University of California at Davis began a controversial program in which students can purchase Plan B, an abortifacient “morning after” pill through a vending machine. Plan B is deceptively marketed as emergency contraception rather than an abortion pill. There is no question that Plan B can terminate a pregnancy, thus ending the Life of a preborn child. CBS Sacramento reported on the vending machine, which is located in the main student activity center on the UC Davis campus. For $30 a box, the machine will dispense Plan B. Called the “Wellness To Go” program, the vending machine also offers contraception, pregnancy tests, and feminine hygiene products.
Pro-Lifers rightly have concerns about casually dispensing a potentially life-altering abortifacient drug through such an unregulated and easy-access means. Unfortunately, many college campuses encourage an anti-Life atmosphere in which human Life, especially of the preborn, is treated flippantly. That attitude was reflected in the comments of enthusiastic vending machine supporters in the news clip. One female student claimed, “It’s easier to take the Plan B than have to tell your parents that you’re pregnant.” Her companion’s less than eloquent comment: “It’s like, useful.”
In addition to directly threatening the Life of the preborn child, Plan B poses serious health risks to women which are often downplayed or not understood. The American Association of Pro-Life Obstetricians and Gynecologists (AAPLOG) has issued several statements about the risks of so-called “emergency contraception.” In a letter to the Federal Drug Administration, then-president Dr. Elizabeth Shadigian cites the alarming studies showing that the rate of ectopic pregnancy in women following the use of Plan B is as high as 6%. Ectopic pregnancy is a serious medical condition in which the embryo implants outside the uterus. The embryo cannot survive outside the uterus, and if left undiagnosed and untreated, ectopic pregnancy can be life-threatening for the mother. What warning is given to students casually purchasing the powerful abortifacient drug Plan B through a vending machine? None that we can see.
UC Davis economics student Parteek Singh had the idea for the vending machine. He spent two years working to convince the university to sign on to the divisive idea. Singh told the CBS reporter about the inspiration for a mindless, quick, and easy way to access abortifacient drugs. He explained, “There was an incident where my friends went to the one pharmacy that was open 24/7 in town on a Friday night. And they were all out of emergency contraceptive.” The biased reporting refers often to the “controversy” surrounding Singh’s vending machine, but never offers the Pro-Life perspective. Singh’s compelling story about his friends who needed “emergency contraception” ignores the fact that Plan B can cause harm to a fertilized egg after conception. That fertilized egg is a human embryo, a unique and unrepeatable preborn child.
Sadly, some vocal parents have brought further confusion to the discussion. One mother told CBS that the availability of abortifacient Plan B “encourages responsibility.” She went on to say, “If you mess up, you mess up,” and that taking Plan B was better than “waiting to see if you get pregnant and having an abortion.” The preborn child is not a mistake, merely the product of “messing up.” The preborn child is a human person with the Right to Life. Although this mother claims that Plan B will prevent pregnancy, the possibility remains that conception has already taken place, and Plan B is causing direct harm to the embryo, ending the Life of a preborn child.
Far from stopping at the UC Davis campus, the vending machine’s creator hopes to expand the project. Singh said, “I want to see this on every college campus.” Pro-Lifers must speak out in defense of the preborn and offer unbiased information about the serious health risks to women posed by this powerful abortifacient drug.