Student Unions now offer emergency contraceptives

EContra EZ is on sale at Badger Market in Memorial Union for $13.

Image By: Téalin Robinson and Téalin Robinson and Tealin Robinson

An oral emergency contraceptive is now available for purchase in both student unions at UW-Madison, and at a lower cost than name-brand equivalents.

EContra EZ, an emergency contraceptive pill, can now be purchased at the Badger Markets in Memorial Union and Union South for $13. The pill is a generic version of Plan B and can be purchased without a prescription, preventing pregnancy after unprotected sex.

The implementation of the drug began when Sophia Alzaidi, president of Accessible Reproductive Healthcare Initiative, began brainstorming with University Health Services staff about ways to expand the accessibility to emergency contraceptives on campus.

Alzaidi said the team ultimately decided the fastest way to make emergency contraceptives available was to implement EContra EZ in the Unions.

Purchased from a vendor, EContra EZ is sold for an upcharge so that the program can be self-sustaining.

“The revenue that we make from the slight upcharge will account for the initial purchase of the oral contraceptive and then be able to sustain future restocks,” Alzaidi said.

Despite the upcharge, EContra EZ is nearly three times cheaper than its drug-store alternatives. Alzaidi said she hopes the implementation can lessen the financial and emotional barrier that some students face when trying to acquire emergency contraceptives.

“This implementation is normalizing emergency contraceptive,” Alzaidi said. “Contraceptives should be a right, not a privilege.”

Alzaidi hopes to expand this implementation into a vending machine system where university community members would be able to anonymously purchase emergency contraceptive. She said this could help eliminate the stigma around emergency contraceptives and sexual assault on campus.

“Emergency contraceptives can be a sensitive topic for some people,” Alzaidi said. “If someone is a survivor of sexual violence or trauma, [a vending machine system] would allow that person to get what they need without having to interact or disclose their trauma with anyone.”

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