College campuses nationwide are installing vending machines to distribute emergency contraception such as Plan B.
Driving the news: The push for campus vending machines to dispense the pregnancy-preventing medication has grown since the U.S. Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade last year, limiting abortion access for many students, Kelly Cleland, executive director of the American Society for Emergency Contraception, tells Axios.
Why it matters: While emergency contraception — which can be used after unprotected sex to prevent pregnancy — is available without a prescription, it's often locked up or must be specifically requested at a pharmacy counter.
Plus: Some pharmacies don't have the medication in stock, and finding a pharmacy that does can require driving miles away — another barrier for students without cars, Cleland said.
By the numbers: So far, emergency contraception vending machines are installed at more than three dozen college campuses nationwide, according to Cleland's organization.
The latest: While students have led most efforts, they're now finding additional support from public officials.
Zoom in: The University of Washington, Eastern Washington University, and Washington State University already have vending machines on their campuses.
What they're saying: Taylor Riley, a University of Washington doctoral student in epidemiology who advocated for the state funding, said the UW machine has been "hugely successful" since its installation last fall.
What's next: Riley and other UW students are urging state lawmakers to also pass a law that would require student health centers at public colleges and universities to provide abortion pills. Those pills are different from emergency contraception, as they are used after someone is already pregnant.