Washington D.C., Apr 24, 2017 / 04:32 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- A California university came under fire for dispensing Plan B contraceptive pill in a vending machine, with one critic calling the move inadequate in meeting the real needs of women.
“Colleges and universities should be offering pregnant and parenting students options of housing, financial aid, diaper decks, and childcare instead of handing over abortion drugs,” said Kristan Hawkins, executive director of Students for Life. “No woman should be forced to choose between the life of her child and her education,” she told CNA.
A study room at the University of California Davis recently installed a “Wellness To Go” vending machine that includes Plan B among other items such as condoms, tampons, pregnancy tests and Advil. The move has been met with mixed reactions from students, with one calling it a “great thing for women,” according to CNN affiliate KTXL.
However, another student slammed the development as promoting recklessness and irresponsibility among UC Davis attendees. “It is promoting like 'Oh hey, go and have unsafe sex because then you have a backup option and it's gonna be cheaper than if you just wanna go to a drug store,'” Jordan Herrera told the affiliate.
Students for life coordinates a Pregnant on Campus Initiative, which provides resources for students who are pregnant and do not wish to undergo an abortion.
Plan B has been the source of religious freedom troubles for pharmacists and drugstore owners who consciously object to dispensing the pills. Greg Stormans and his family, who have been operating a small grocery store and pharmacy for the past four generations, had no idea they would be at the center of a firestorm in 2007, when the Washington Pharmacy Commission began to require pharmacies to dispense the abortion-inducing drugs Plan B and ella and make conscience-based referrals illegal. In July 2007, the Stormans filed a lawsuit against Washington state to stop enforcement of the newly passed regulations. The legal battle continues to this day. In July 2015, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit reversed a district court’s decision to suspend the regulations.
Previously, Stormans would have been allowed to refer customers elsewhere if they requested Plan B or ella. However, the new Washington law requires Stormans to offer the drugs himself, becoming the first state in the country to prohibit customer referrals for religious reasons. Since the lawsuit began, Stormans said that his family has received numerous threats. In addition, their business saw a drop in sales by 30 percent, and as a result, they were forced to take a pay cut and reduce staff by 10 percent.