Planned Parenthood funds Plan B vending machine at Brandeis

Brandeis already offers Plan B to female students at its Health Center, but administrators have expressed strong support for the vending machine as a way of making the drug even easier to obtain.

Using a $5,000 grant from Planned Parenthood, a pro-abortion student group at Brandeis University is preparing to install a vending machine on campus that will dispense abortifacient drugs free of charge.

Thanks to a $5,000 grant from Planned Parenthood, a pro-abortion student group at Brandeis University is planning to install a vending machine on campus to provide Plan B free of charge.

According to The Brandeis Hoot, Brandeis Pro-Choice is working with the Student Union and school administrators to install the machine on campus by the end of the current academic year, in May.

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Brandeis Pro-Choice is an on-campus activist group that promotes “abortion…[and] adequate access to contraception,” with a goal of fighting “for reproductive justice,” garnering the support of the school’s administration.

Administrators have been “encouraging,” said Abigail Belyea, a Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies major who serves as events director for Brandeis Pro-Choice.

“They’re busy especially this time of year so it’s definitely been maybe a little slower than what we would want...but they’ve been encouraging,” she told the Hoot. “I think once we can finally meet with them and actually talk about logistics it will be more concrete.”

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The private liberal arts college’s Health Center currently provides free contraceptives during regular work hours, which exclude weekends, and Brandeis Pro-Choice argues that the vending machine will not only make Plan B accessible to students when the Health Center is closed, but will also provide an alternative to those who cannot or will not obtain it from the Health Center.

“People don’t really want to be seen doing that and they don’t really want to have that face to face contact while [getting Plan B],” Belyea noted as another perk of the vending of machine, arguing that men will now be allowed to pick up contraceptives, contrary to the Health Center’s policies.

Belyea’s peer, Samantha Lauring, expressed similar appreciation for the Brandeis administration, telling The Boston Globe that “the administration has been very receptive.”

Planned Parenthood Generation Action, the organization helping to fund the vending machine, told The Globe that it is also providing guidance to Brandeis Pro-Choice as it navigates the process of finalizing the project.

“We believe by helping young people take action on their campuses, we give them the tools they need to seize opportunities to make a difference at the state and national level,” it stated.

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A spokesperson for Brandeis confirmed the school’s enthusiasm for the vending machine, noting that the school has offered Plan B at its Health Center for as long as the abortifacient drug has been available.

“We applaud our students’ initiative and are working with them on the logistics of making Plan B available from a vending machine on campus,” asserted Vice President for Student Affairs Sheryl Souza.

Campus Reform reached out to the university, specifically about whether or not the vending machine will be available to non-students, and is currently awaiting a response.

Follow the author of this article on Twitter: @KylePerisic