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Vending machine provides free emergency contraceptives

"It's important to have stuff like this available to anyone who needs it."
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Posted at 11:19 PM, Apr 12, 2024
and last updated 2024-04-13 19:37:36-04

INDIANAPOLIS — Amid Indiana’s near total abortion ban, a new vending machine is providing free emergency sexual health products to anyone who needs them.

"It's important to have stuff like this available to anyone who needs it,” said Dear Mom Owner Liz Foster.

The new vending machine inside the store on East 10th Street is breaking down barriers to free contraception — a time it believes is more important now than ever.

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Vending Machine provides free sexual supplies

"I've always wanted this space to feel safe and to be a communal and I think that a resource like this is just so important,” she explained.

The machine launched Friday, April 5 as a joint effort between Foster’s store, Midwest Access Coalition, Indiana Task Force, and All-Option.

"I think it's super important to reduce any barriers that we can, given the current climate, to allow people to make the choices that are right for them for them and their families with respect to their reproductive health with respect to growing or not growing their families,” said Lacey Davidson, the director of partnerships for Indiana Task Force.

The vending machine offers a variety of free sexual health supplies from male and female condoms, birth control, Plan B, and more.

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Vending Machine provides free sexual supplies

"It's [Plan B] usually $50 and $50 is a ton of money, so having it here for free its awesome,” said Foster.

The free sexual health resource comes amid Indiana’s Near total abortion ban and increased concerns about stricter access to contraception.

"We not only have to anticipate what the state is going to limit or restrict, but we also have to imagine outside of those restrictions and limitations,” said All-Option Organizing Manager Jessica Louise.

"Providing a point of access in the community that's outside of the health care system, and that can be reached in a different way is really exciting and so needed,” added IU Professor of Pediatrics Dr. Tracey Wilkinson who’s also a part of Good Trouble Coalition.

The supplies have already been taken advantage of just a week after launching.

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Vending Machine provides free sexual supplies

"Even before the launch, when it was just back here, it was obvious that word of mouth has gotten out and the people who needed these items came to get it for sure," said Foster.

Foster says there are no limit to the amount of supplies a person can take, there is no cost, and no judgment.

The vending machine is the first of its kind in Indy through these organizations and also hopes to bring people together to have conversations about these topics.

It also offers tampons, Fentanyl anyl strips, Narcan and resources available through Midwest Access Coalition.

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Vending Machine provides free sexual supplies

The advocacy group will handle restocking the machine.

The organizations are also working on getting the machines in community spaces in every region statewide.

Dear Mom is located on 2121 E 10th St, Indianapolis and is open Tuesday-Sunday 10 am-5 pm.