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Legislature’s new IDEA Committee to consider LD 37 on Tuesday at 1 p.m.

To increase the availability of care for Mainers, Planned Parenthood of Northern New England and the Planned Parenthood Maine Action Fund along with the ACLU of Maine, Maine Family Planning, the Maine Women’s Lobby, sexual assault and domestic violence advocates, and health policy experts are supporting a bill to allow the sale of nonprescription medicine in vending machines.

“Everyone should be able to get affordable, high-quality sexual and reproductive health care in their communities, no matter where they live or how much money they make,” said Nicole Clegg, Vice President of Public Policy for PPNNE and PPMEAF. “Wellness vending machines dispensing nonprescription medicines like emergency contraception and pain relievers will increase the availability of care for Mainers.”

Members of Planned Parenthood’s student activist group at USM learned about health and wellness vending machines on college campuses at a conference and wanted to bring them to USM.

Available at all hours, these vending machines provide over the counter medicine, like pain relievers, cold meds, and emergency contraception. When CVS announced plans to place vending machines in travel locations, they cited their desire to help maximize convenience and meet customers where they are.

“Whether you become nauseous at the airport or come down with a cold at the bus station, or need emergency contraception after a sexual assault, or you get a migraine in between classes, a vending machine with over-the-counter medications will make the world of a difference in accessing healthcare for Mainers all across the state” said Emma Donnelly, leader of the Planned Parenthood student group at the University of Southern Maine.

Maine law currently prevents the sale of over-the-counter medicine in vending machines so the students asked their state representative, Mo Terry of Gorham, to sponsor a bill.

The Public Hearing for LD 37 An Act To Allow for the Sale of Nonprescription Drugs through Vending Machines will be Tuesday, February 5th at 1:00 p.m. in Room 202 of the Cross Office Building at the State House complex.