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Maine House Approves Drug Vending Machines Amid Concerns Over Morning After Pill

Findlay Kember
Associated Press file
Levonelle, a type of "morning after pill", is seen at a chemist in Cambridge, England, Monday, January 29, 2001.

The Maine House approved legislation on Thursday that will allow nonprescription drugs to be sold in vending machines.

Opponents of the bill, which was approved by a margin of 85-54, had raised concerns that one of the nonprescription drugs that could be sold in the machines is the morning after pill.

“My concern on this is that being in a vending machine it allows it to be available to any age. Now when I say any age, I do mean any age,” says Republican Rep. Susan Austin of Gray.

Supporters says the bill simply allows Mainers access to all types of nonprescription drugs they might need after stores and pharmacies are closed.

“The basic gist of this is that we are allowing a little bit more access than we have currently. Pharmacies close at 9 o’clock at night, doctors offices and clinics even earlier than that,” says Democratic Rep. Maureen Terry of Gorham.

The bill faces further votes in the House and Senate.