Vending machines are a fast, convenient way to get what you need. Several U.S. colleges are taking that beyond snack food.
Emergency Contraception for Every Campus, or EC4EC, is a campaign from the American Society for Emergency Contraception to increase emergency contraception access for kids on college campuses across the country.
Along with helping to organize peer-to-peer networks, the campaign also helps students take vending machines to the EC level. Around fifteen campuses in seven states have EC vending machines now, featuring emergency contraception, condoms, pregnancy tests, and more. They’re open when students are more likely to have emergencies (like weekends and nights) and they don’t judge or charge too much.
Vending machines aren’t scary, they’re not threatening. In a country where abortion is both for a lot of people, increasing EC access can help to achieve the fewer abortions desired by everyone. Rather than go to a pharmacist who might be allowed to deny the sale of EC because of moral objections, with an EC vending machine, Plan B could be right next to a vending machine with Fritos. While there might be a time when people can deny the sale of Fritos due to moral objections, we’re not there yet.
For Americans, these may seem novel. For the Italians, not so much. Condom vending machines are easy to find in the streets of Milan, Rome, you name it.