There Is Plan B In The Vending Machine Of This Brooklyn Laundromat
In case you missed it, there's a laundromat selling Plan B in vending machines — and yes, it's as incredible as it sounds. The ease and access with which women can get tampons, condoms, or pain medication should be the same for when they need an emergency contraceptive, and this is one incredibly groundbreaking way to normalize it. So if you're in the Brooklyn area, you can snag some PlanB while getting your clothes cleaned, as it should be. (Praise 2016.)
The amazing laundromat in question is called The Sunshine Laundromat, and includes machines with the regular stuff (detergents, medicines, and so on) but also has made an effort to sell things that are just as important, yet rarely seen: pregnancy tests, lube, and so on. Stocking up on snacks and practicing safe sex? Um, yes!
It should come as absolutely no surprise that the addition of PlanB in something such as a vending machine is itself a political statement: for years, women struggled with the shame and difficulty of having to access to their (basic) sexual health needs. And of course, we're still shaking off the leftover shame BS that surrounds the idea of women claiming autonomy over their bodies. Despite this, Peter Rose, the owner of the laundromat, told DNA Info that he actually included the items for fun. “I was just bored one day perusing the aisles of CVS and I saw [the PlanB] and thought, ‘That doesn’t belong in a vending machine,’ and so I bought some," said Rose. "It’s not to make a political statement. It’s just random items for fun.”
It's understandable why someone would consider that just another random, cool thing to add into a machine (seriously, it's progressive, and they're in Brooklyn, it makes sense) but it's a bit interesting that he doesn't recognize how politically charged it is. That phrasing may make it sound intense, but regardless, women everywhere can celebrate this tiny little victory. The reality is that from parental duties to financial freedom to insurance hurdles to the sheer cultural stigma around sexually active women who are in conscious control of their reproductive health, access to PlanB has never been as convenient as approaching a vending machine. Sure, it's fun, but it's also groundbreaking.
Lastly, if there are any lingering concerns as to whether or not selling PlanB (or anything else of that sort) via a vending machine is legal, FDA spokesperson Andrea Fischer weighed in: “There is no provision in the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act that prohibits the sale of over-the-counter drug preparations in vending machines or in places other than drug stores.” So there you have it! Nothing is standing in our way other than crippling social norms (kidding, not kidding).
Images: Unsplash; Giphy