FDA allows emergency contraception in college vending machine - Los Angeles News | FOX 11 LA KTTV

FDA allows emergency contraception in college campus vending machine

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CHICAGO (FOX 32 News) -

The accessibility of emergency contraception on college campuses has sparked recent debate.

Shippensburg University, in Pennsylvania, has been at the center of the controversy. Inside a student health center, it put a vending machine that sells the Plan B contraceptive -- commonly called "the morning-after pill." The machine also sells condoms and pregnancy tests.

Plan B is legal to buy without a prescription for those 17 and older and is sold at most pharmacies.

Shippensburg put the emergency contraception in the vending machine after a campus survey found 85 percent of students wanted it available on campus.

The vending machine became a lightning rod during the larger debate about President Obama's healthcare reforms.

The Food and Drug Administration agreed to open an inquiry into the machine, then announced it will take no action.

Studies show 49 percent of all pregnancies in America are unintended. The issue looms especially large at colleges where sex and alcohol can be as frequent a combination as pen and paper.

Supporters say young women need a discreet, non-embarrassing way to get emergency contraception if they've had unprotected sex or been raped. Critics say a doctor, or at least a pharmacist, should be involved -- and if there's a rape, police should be called.

What do you think about Plan B being sold in a college vending machine? Sound off on our Facebook page.

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