Dustin Siggins

Undercover video: Young teen girls can’t buy Sudafed, but Plan B ok

Dustin Siggins
Dustin Siggins

WASHINGTON, D.C., November 12, 2013 (LifeSiteNews.com) – A new undercover video has exposed the fact that Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regulations are stricter for common cold medication than for the abortifacient drug Plan B.

In the video, created by Students for Life, women posing as 15-year-old girls attempt to simultaneously purchase the "emergency contraceptive" Plan B, and the cold medicine Sudafed. The “teenagers” are asked for identification, and when they say they don't have any ID, are told they can’t purchase Sudafed. However, they are allowed to purchase Plan B.

“I thought I didn’t need an ID for Plan B,” protests the undercover investigator at one Rite Aid, after being asked by the cashier for her birthday.

In response, the cashier holds up the Sudafed and says, “I need a birthday for this medicine.” 

When the girl responds that she’s only 15, the cashier shakes her head and says she can’t sell her the Sudafed. 

“Ok, I’ll just get the Plan B,” the girl says in response.

Plan B has long been a controversial flashpoint for pro-life and pro-abortion advocates. Activists against Plan B cite how it may cause early abortions by preventing implantation of the embryo. They also say that its availability only encourages risky behavior that can result in STDs and unplanned pregnancies, and that the effect of the massive dose of hormones the pill contains on the bodies of young girls is unknown. 

Supporters, however, say it is an important part of allowing women to engage in sexual relations without becoming pregnant, and claim it will reduce unplanned pregnancies.

After years of over-the-counter access being restricted to women 17 and older, the FDA approved Plan B “as a nonprescription product for all women of child-bearing potential” on June 21, 2013. This means that girls as young as 11 years old can purchase the drug at their local pharmacy without a prescription.

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Throughout August and September, 30 Walgreens, CVS, and Rite-Aid pharmacies in Ohio, South Carolina, and Arizona were visited by undercover Students for Life “teenagers” looking to purchase both Sudafed and Plan B. In two cases, the mothers of the “teenagers” returned the Plan B and asked the cashier why the drug is being sold to minors. 

Students for Life President Kristan Hawkins said in a statement that the FDA’s policy is contradictory. “Young girls are able to purchase an abortion-inducing drug without their parents’ permission but aren’t able to buy cold medicine. The logic makes zero sense.”

Students for Life says this is the first video in a series designed to draw attention to the necessity of legislation that will “put into place common-sense restrictions of Plan B, like preventing the sale of the drug to minors without parental consent and allowing drug store employees to refuse to sell the drug if their conscience dictates.”

LifeSiteNews.com reached out to the FDA as to the reasoning behind Sudafed’s stricter regulations as compared to Plan B, as well as to pro-abortion Senator Barbara Boxer (D-CA) for comment. As of press time, phone calls were not returned.

Plan B was approved for use by women 17 and older without a prescription in 2009, but after a great deal of controversy and two court rulings the current policy was implemented. The FDA originally tried to approve Plan B for all ages in 2011, but HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius – backed by President Obama – overruled the agency. Judge Edward Korman overruled the Secretary in April of 2013.             

In a press announcement on June 21, the FDA’s Director of the Center for Drug Evaluation and Research said, “Over-the-counter access to emergency contraceptive products has the potential to further decrease the rate of unintended pregnancies in the United States.”

The FDA’s press release also address concerns that Plan B is abortifacient, saying that the drug “will not stop a pregnancy when a woman is already pregnant and there is no medical evidence that the product will harm a developing fetus.”

This claim is in sharp contrast to what the Director of Princeton’s Office of Population Research stated in a report earlier this year. In the report, contraception supporter and leading authority on Plan B Dr. James Trussell wrote with Dr. Elizabeth G. Raymond that “women must know that [emergency contraceptive pills] … prevent pregnancy primarily by delaying or inhibiting ovulation and inhibiting fertilization, but may at times inhibit implantation of a fertilized egg in the endometrium.”

Dr. Trussell is a senior fellow at the Guttmacher Institute, and is on the board of the NARAL Pro-Choice America Foundation.

Some pro-abortion organizations have side-stepped the question of Plan B’s abortifacient potential by redefining pregnancy as beginning at implantation, rather than fertilization. 

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Dustin Siggins Dustin Siggins Follow Dustin

PBS defends decision to air pro-abortion documentary ‘After Tiller’

Dustin Siggins Dustin Siggins Follow Dustin
By Dustin Siggins

Under pressure for showing the pro-abortion documentary "After Tiller" on Labor Day, PBS' "POV" affiliate has defended the decision in response to an inquiry from LifeSiteNews.

The producers of the film say their goal with the documentary, which tells the stories of four late-term abortion doctors after the killing of infamous late-term abortionist George Tiller, is to "change public perception of third-trimester abortion providers by building a movement dedicated to supporting their right to work with a special focus on maintaining their safety.” 

POV told LifeSiteNews, "We do believe that 'After Tiller' adds another dimension to an issue that is being debated widely." Asked if POV will show a pro-life documentary, the organization said that it "does not have any other films currently scheduled on this issue. POV received almost 1000 film submissions each year through our annual call for entries and we welcome the opportunity to consider films with a range of points of view."

When asked whether POV was concerned about alienating its viewership -- since PBS received more than $400 million in federal tax dollars in 2012 and half of Americans identify as pro-life -- POV said, "The filmmakers would like the film to add to the discussion around these issues. Abortion is already a legal procedure."

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"This is an issue that people feel passionately about and will have a passionate response to. We are hopeful that the majority of people can see it for what it is, another lens on a very difficult issue." 

In addition to the documentary, POV has written materials for community leaders and teachers to share. A cursory examination of the 29-page document, which is available publicly, appears to include links to outside sources that defend Roe v. Wade, an examination of the constitutional right to privacy, and "a good explanation of the link between abortion law and the right to privacy," among other information.

Likewise, seven clips recommended for student viewing -- grades 11 and beyond -- include scenes where couples choose abortion because the children are disabled. Another shows pro-life advocates outside a doctor's child's school, and a third is described as showing "why [one of the film's doctors] chose to offer abortion services and includes descriptions of what can happen when abortion is illegal or unavailable, including stories of women who injured themselves when they tried to terminate their own pregnancies and children who were abused because they were unwanted."

Another clip "includes footage of protesters, as well as news coverage of a hearing in the Nebraska State Legislature in which abortion opponents make reference to the idea that a fetus feels pain." The clip's description fails to note that it is a scientifically proven fact that unborn children can feel pain.

The documentary is set to air on PBS at 10 p.m. Eastern on Labor Day.

Kirsten Andersen contributed to this article.

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Pete Baklinski Pete Baklinski Follow Pete

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He defended ‘real’ marriage, and then was beheaded for it

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By Pete Baklinski

A Christian man was executed during the night by a high-profile ruler after making an uncompromising defense of real marriage.

The Christian, who was renowned for his holiness, had told the ruler in public that his relationship with his partner was “against the law” of God. The Christian’s words enraged the ruler’s partner who successfully plotted to have him permanently silenced.

John the Baptist was first imprisoned before he was beheaded. The Catholic Church honors him today, August 29, as a martyr and saint.

While John’s death happened a little less than 2,000 years ago, his heroic stance for real marriage is more pertinent today than ever before.

According to the Gospel of Mark, the ruler Herod had ‘married’ his brother’s wife Herodias. When John told Herod with complete frankness, “It is against the law for you to have your brother’s wife,” Herodias became “furious” with him to the point of wanting him killed for his intolerance, bullying, and hate-speech.

Herodias found her opportunity to silence John by having her daughter please Herod during a dance at a party. Herod offered the girl anything she wanted. The daughter turned to her mother for advice, and Herodias said to ask for John’s head on a platter.

Those who fight for real marriage today can learn three important lessons from John’s example.

  1. Those proudly living in ungodly and unnatural relationships — often referred to in today’s sociopolitical sphere as ‘marriage’ — will despise those who tell them what they are doing is wrong. Real marriage defenders must expect opposition to their message from the highest levels.
  2. Despite facing opposition, John was not afraid to defend God’s plan for marriage in the public square, even holding a secular ruler accountable to this plan. John, following the third book of the Hebrew Bible (Leviticus 20:21), held that a man marrying the wife of his brother was an act of “impurity” and therefore abhorrent to God. Real marriage defenders must boldly proclaim today that God is the author of marriage, an institution he created to be a life-long union between one man and one woman from which children arise and in which they are best nurtured. Marriage can be nothing more, nothing less.
  3. John did not compromise on the truth of marriage as revealed by God, even to the point of suffering imprisonment and death for his unpopular position. Real marriage defenders must never compromise on the truth of marriage, even if the government, corporate North America, and the entire secular education system says otherwise. They must learn to recognize the new “Herodias” of today who despises those raising a voice against her lifestyle. They must stand their ground no matter what may come, no matter what the cost.

John the Baptist was not intolerant or a bigot, he simply lived the word of God without compromise, speaking the word of truth when it was needed, knowing that God’s way is always the best way. Were John alive today, he would be at the forefront of the grassroots movement opposing the social and political agenda to remake marriage in the image of man.

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If he were alive today he might speak simple but eloquent words such as, “It is against God’s law for two men or two women to be together as a husband and wife in marriage. Marriage can only be between a man and a woman.” 

He would most likely be hated. He would be ridiculed. He would surely have the human rights tribunals throwing the book at him. But he would be speaking the truth and have God as his ally. 

The time may not be far off when those who defend real marriage, like John, will be presented with the choice of following Caesar or making the ultimate sacrifice. May God grant his faithful the grace to persevere in whatever might come. St. John the Baptist, pray for us!

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The Wunderlich family Mike Donnelly / Home School Legal Defence Association
Thaddeus Baklinski Thaddeus Baklinski Follow Thaddeus

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German homeschoolers regain custody of children, vow to stay and fight for freedom

Thaddeus Baklinski Thaddeus Baklinski Follow Thaddeus
By Thaddeus Baklinski

One year to the day since a team of 20 social workers, police officers, and special agents stormed a homeschooling family’s residence near Darmstadt, Germany, and forcibly removed all four of the family’s children, aged 7 to 14, a state appeals court has returned custody of the children to their parents.

The reason given for the removal was that parents Dirk and Petra Wunderlich continued to homeschool their children in defiance of a German ban on home education.

The children were returned three weeks after being taken, following an international outcry spearheaded by the Home School Legal Defense Association.

However, a lower court imposed the condition on the parents that their children were required to attend state schools in order for them to be released, and took legal custody of the children in order to prevent the family from leaving the country.

In a decision that was still highly critical of the parents and of homeschooling, the appeals court decided that the action of the lower court in putting the children in the custody of the state was “disproportional” and ordered complete custody returned to the parents, according to a statement by the HSLDA.

The Wunderlichs, who began homeschooling again when the court signaled it would rule this way, said they were very pleased with the result, but noted that the court’s harsh words about homeschooling indicated that their battle was far from over.

“We have won custody and we are glad about that,” Dirk said.

“The court said that taking our children away was not proportionate—only because the authorities should apply very high fines and criminal prosecution instead. But this decision upholds the absurd idea that homeschooling is child endangerment and an abuse of parental authority.”

The Wunderlichs are now free to emigrate to another country where homeschooling is legal, if they choose, but they said they intend to remain in Germany and work for educational freedom.

“While we no longer fear that our children will be taken away as long as we are living in Hessen, it can still happen to other people in Germany,” Dirk said. “Now we fear crushing fines up to $75,000 and jail. This should not be tolerated in a civilized country.”

Petra Wunderlich said, "We could not do this without the help of HSLDA,” but cautioned that, “No family can fight the powerful German state—it is too much, too expensive."

"If it were not for HSLDA and their support, I am afraid our children would still be in state custody. We are so grateful and thank all homeschoolers who have helped us by helping HSLDA.”

HSLDA’s Director for Global Outreach, Michael Donnelly, said he welcomed the ruling but was concerned about the court’s troubling language.

“We welcome this ruling that overturns what was an outrageous abuse of judicial power,” he said.

“The lower court decision to take away legal custody of the children essentially imprisoned the Wunderlich family in Germany. But this decision does not go far enough. The court has only grudgingly given back custody and has further signaled to local authorities that they should still go after the Wunderlichs with criminal charges or fines.”

Donnelly pointed out that such behavior in a democratic country is problematic.

“Imprisonment and fines for homeschooling are outside the bounds of what free societies that respect fundamental human rights should tolerate,” he explained.

“Freedom and fundamental human rights norms demand respect for parental decision making in education. Germany’s state and national policies that permit banning home education must be changed.

"Such policies from a leading European democracy not only threaten the rights of tens of thousands of German families but establish a dangerous example that other countries may be tempted to follow,” Donnelly warned.

HSLDA Chairman Michael Farris said that acting on behalf of the Wunderlichs was an important stand for freedom.

“The Wunderlichs are a good and decent family whose basic human rights were violated and are still threatened,” Farris said.

“Their fight is our fight," Farris stressed, "and we will continue to support those who stand against German policy banning homeschooling that violates international legal norms. Free people cannot tolerate such oppression and we will do whatever we can to fight for families like the Wunderlichs both here in the United States and abroad. We must stand up to this kind of persecution where it occurs or we risk seeing own freedom weakened.”

Visit the HSLDA website dedicated to helping the Wunderlich family and other German homeschoolers here.

Contact the German embassy in the U.S. here.

Contact the German embassy in Canada here.

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