Welcome to the brand new Northeastern College, the place getting condoms and emergency contraception is as simple as getting Skittles or a bottle of water – and we’re so extremely proud.

After months of advocacy and planning, Northeastern has lastly accredited and put in a brand new sort of merchandising machine on the primary ground of Marino Gymnasium: one targeted on wellness. Merchandise embrace free sexual well being provides, free menstrual merchandise, low-cost medicines like Advil and Tylenol, and maybe most importantly, generic Plan B emergency contraceptive tablets. These emergency contraceptives, which are solely $7 within the merchandising machine, aren’t solely extra accessible to college students and group members bodily, but in addition rather more reasonably priced than the standard $40 to $50 costs on the common pharmacy. 

Emergency contraceptives are an efficient, protected, and vital remedy that may be taken after unprotected intercourse or intercourse the place protecting measures might have failed. Prior to now, college students might solely get emergency contraceptives by making an appointment on the clinic or heading off campus. However occasions are altering. Providing these within the merchandising machine is breaking down an enormous barrier to entry.

It’s been successful too. In simply the primary week, the whole merchandising machine was purchased out and restocked twice, displaying the crucial want for these assets amongst college students. Moreover, the discounted and free provides aren’t simply restricted to Northeastern college students. Anyone from our group can receive these very important wellness assets at-will and at-need, in a constructing open a minimum of 18 hours day-after-day. 

The merchandising machine was put in in Marino partially on account of advocacy from SHARE, the on-campus membership for sexual well being, advocacy, assets, and schooling. All the above accessibility elements are important parts to SHARE’s central objectives for the merchandising machine: furthering reproductive justice and care in our group.

What’s reproductive justice? Nicely, it’s extra than simply abortion rights, although that’s one heavy focus in our present advocacy. Reproductive justice is a crucial feminist framework that defends the human rights all of us share: to keep up private bodily autonomy, to have kids, to not have kids, and to develop up in protected and sustainable communities. It encompasses greater than the political and authorized spheres, but in addition the financial, social, and well being elements that influence our collective and deeply private reproductive and sexual selection skills.

This framework guides every little thing we do in SHARE.

Now, with the overturning of Roe v. Wade in June resulting in a authorized patchwork of abortion restrictions and reproductive care entry throughout the nation, college students at Northeastern have entry to a necessary useful resource that we didn’t earlier than. And that feels actually good.

The work doesn’t finish although, and there may be all the time extra to be completed. We’re working to ensure that the merchandising machine is stocked and stuffed always to satisfy demand. Northeastern can be discussing establishing an analogous wellness merchandising machine on the new Mills School and Charlotte campuses. Moreover, with the latest passage of Invoice H.5090 by the Massachusetts legislature – which expands and protects reproductive and gender-affirming well being care within the Commonwealth – SHARE and the college are in dialogue about the way to carry medical abortion choices to campus, a requirement positioned upon public, higher-ed establishments in Massachusetts by the laws. The work earlier than us is thrilling and extra vital than ever.

This reproductive justice victory is the end result of months of advocacy and planning between SHARE, College Well being and Counseling Providers (UHCS) and the Workplace of Prevention and Training at Northeastern (OPEN). We’re grateful for this partnership and grateful to each pupil who participated in efforts to make this merchandising machine a actuality. And above all, we’re past grateful that Northeastern group members now have the entry to emergency contraception that each group deserves. Let’s sustain the combat.

NOTE: College students also can buy the Emergency Contraception on the UHCS entrance desk throughout workplace hours or ask questions in regards to the remedy. UHCS additionally supplies prescriptions for the Ella tablet, an emergency contraceptive that has a extra inclusive weight restrict, if college students make an appointment within the workplace.

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