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PlanB Pill, Pregnancy Tests and Lube Fill Laundromat Vending Machine

By  Savannah Cox and Alexandra  Talty | March 17, 2016 7:24am 

 Sunshine Laundromat and Pinball sells family planning items alongside candy bars.
Candy Bars, Pregnancy Tests and PlanB Pill Fill Laundromat Vending Machine
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Fluff, fold and... fornicate?

Sunshine Laundromat and Pinball in Greenpoint, wasn't a traditional laundromat to begin with, since in addition to an arcade's worth of pinball machines, it also has a bar in the back.

But the neighborhood laundering staple also boasts a vending machine stocked with lots of family planning tools: at-home pregnancy tests priced at $10, personal lubricant for $10 and the morning after pill, PlanB, for $35.

The family planning vending machine items sit just above some more familiar vending machine offerings, like Snickers and Almond Joy candy bars and M&M packets.

Sunshine Laundromat owner Peter Rose told DNAinfo New York that these items are recent additions to the machine, and that he added them purely for entertainment purposes.

It first started with a "pregnancy test about a year ago," Rose said, noting that it was "only a matter of days ago" that he placed the PlanB in the machine.

"I was just bored one day perusing the aisles of CVS," Rose said. "I saw [the PlanB] and thought, 'That doesn't belong in a vending machine,' and so I bought some."

"It's not to make a political statement," Rose said. "It's just random items for fun."

Not everyone views the vending machine's items as a joke, however.

Sunshine Rivera, who says she has lived in the neighborhood for 43 years and has been coming to the laundromat "forever," recalled that a friend's daughter bought a pregnancy test at the laundromat because she didn't want others to know about it.

Michelle King, a 24-year-old freelance writer who moved to the neighborhood in September, said that since the laundromat is open late — as it also functions as a bar and arcade — she "would come at 2 a.m." to buy PlanB if she needed to.

But is it even legal to sell PlanB at a laundromat?

Because PlanB is available over the counter and the laundromat won't be restocking their supply, Rose was not concerned.

"As far as I know there are no regulations," Rose said. "If I knew otherwise they wouldn't be there."

And the law backs him up. According to FDA spokeswoman Andrea Fischer, "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."

However, the sold goods "must be in full compliance with all the applicable sections of the Act," such as being clearly labeled.

We also couldn't help but notice that of all the family planning items available in the laundromat's vending machine, it was missing the classic prophylactic, condoms. Why not stock them?

"They're often free and widely available," Rose said.