Look – it’s the Antichrist in chrome and glass!
Students at Shippensburg University in central Pennsylvania can get the “morning-after” pill by sliding $25 into a vending machine installed at the request of the student government.
The Etter Health Center at Shippensburg, a public school of 8,300 students in Appalachia’s scenic Cumberland Valley, provides the Plan B One Step emergency contraceptive along with condoms, decongestants and pregnancy tests. The pill is available without a prescription to anyone 17 or older, and the school checked records and found that all current students are that age or older, spokesman Peter Gigliotti said.
The machine was installed after a request from the student association. The pill’s availability in a vending machine appears to be rare, if not unprecedented…
“The machine is in a private room in our health center, and the health center is only accessible by students,” Gigliotti said in a statement. “In addition, no one can walk in off the street and go into the health center. Students proceed to a check-in desk located in the lobby and after checking in are granted access to the treatment area.”
Taking Plan B within 72 hours of rape, condom failure or just forgetting regular contraception can cut the chances of pregnancy by up to 89 percent. It works best if taken within 24 hours.
Some religious conservatives consider the emergency contraceptive tantamount to an abortion drug…and like everything else which offends religious nutballs, they believe women don’t have the right to make a choice.
The drug isn’t covered or subsidized by the school. Its price at the vending machine is set by the school’s cost to the pharmaceutical company and is less than at off-campus pharmacies.
Of course, I wouldn’t be surprised if Republicans made a stink about cut-price pharmaceuticals. After all, they’re locked into their belief that nothing is more important than maximizing profits.
But, you would think that knee-jerk prostration before every Christian pronouncement might give pause, occasionally, to conservatives who used to be independent of just anyone flailing the air with his bible. I have no doubt we’ll hear from Sanctimonius Santorum and the Holy Boehner before the day is out.
This will be a delightful object lesson for the students about asking permission from some church-or-other before they make a decision.