Miami University may be first in Ohio to offer emergency contraception to students

OXFORD — Two students were granted $3,500 to buy an apparatus that would dispense over-the-counter emergency contraception at Miami University in Oxford, Ohio.

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A growing number of universities across the country began to provide students the means of obtaining emergency contraception. Higher education institutions like Boston University, Cornell University, and George Washington University created methods for their students to receive emergency contraception on campus.

Clara Hemrick and Ryan Parker, both sophomores at Miami University, saw the growing availability of emergency contraception at various campuses and wanted to bring the same convenience to students at their school, hopefully at an affordable price.

Conventional stores that carry the over-the-counter contraceptive pills are normally open a set number of hours, “but with with this we’re hoping to get it someplace with 24-hour access,” Parker said.

Conventional stores also charge approximately $50 for the medication, which can be costly for some students, Hemrick referenced. “If a college student is unable to afford buying Plan B, they’re not going to be able to afford raising a child.”

To enact their vision of a student body with more “reproductive choice and reproductive freedom,” the two students spoke with Assistant Vice President for Student Life Steve Large, Hemrick said. And, “he was super in favor of it,” Parker added.

“Even though it’s an ‘over-the-counter’ medication, it might not physically be on the shelf,” Large stated in a statement. “Shoppers may need to ask a store clerk for assistance, which can be intimidating.”

Hemrick and Parker have already received a $3,500 funding to purchase a machine that would vend emergency contraception like Plan B. They looked to a machine similar to the one at Boston University.

Currently, the university is working with the students to set an installation plan for the machine, Hemrick and Parker stated.

Once installed, Miami University will be the first college in Ohio to offer emergency contraception on campus. However, Ohio State University’s student government also hopes to add a machine to their campus, Parker said.

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