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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Lisa Bourne

‘You can’t have’ marriage equality ‘without polygamy’

Lisa Bourne
By Lisa Bourne

July 3, 2015 (LifeSiteNews) – Motivated by the U.S. Supreme Court ruling legalizing homosexual “marriage,” a Montana polygamist has filed for a second marriage license, so he can be legally wed to two women at once.

"It's about marriage equality," said Nathan Collier, using homosexual advocates’ term to support marriage redefinition. "You can't have this without polygamy."

Collier, who has has appeared on the TLC reality show Sister Wives with his legal wife Victoria, and his second wife Christine, said he was inspired by the dissent in the Supreme Court decision.

The minority Supreme Court justices said in Friday’s ruling it would open the door to both polygamy and religious persecution.

“It is striking how much of the majority’s reasoning would apply with equal force to the claim of a fundamental right to plural marriage,” wrote Chief Justice John Roberts.

Collier and his wives applied for a second marriage license earlier this week at the Yellowstone County Courthouse in Billings, a report from the Salt Lake Tribune said.

Collier, who was excommunicated from the Mormon Church for polygamy, married Victoria in 2000 and had a religious wedding ceremony with Christine in 2007. The three have seven children between them and from previous relationships.

"My second wife Christine, who I'm not legally married to, she's put up with my crap for a lot of years. She deserves legitimacy," Collier said.

Yellowstone County officials initially denied the application before saying they would consult with the County Attorney and get him a final answer.

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Bigamy, the holding of multiple marriage licenses, is illegal all 50 states, but Collier plans to sue if his application is denied. Officials expect to have an answer for him next week.

While homosexual “marriage” supporters have long insisted legalization of same-sex unions would not lead to polygamy, pro-life and family advocates have warned all along it would be inevitable with the redefinition of marriage.

“The next court cases coming will push for polygamy, as Chief Justice John Roberts acknowledged in his dissent,” said Penny Nance, president of Concerned Women for America, after the Supreme Court ruling. “The chief justice said “the argument for polygamy is actually stronger than that for ‘gay marriage.’ It’s only a matter of time.”

In a piece from the Washington Times, LifeSiteNews Editor-in-Chief and the co-founder of Voice of the Family John-Henry Westen stated the move toward legal polygamy is “just the next step in unraveling how Americans view marriage.”

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Chris Christie: Clerks must perform same-sex ‘marriages’ regardless of their religious beliefs

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By Ben Johnson

TRENTON, NJ, July 3, 2015 (LifeSiteNews) – Chris Christie is not known for nuance. This time, he has turned his fiery personality loose on county clerks and other officials who have religious objections to performing same-sex “marriages.”

In a tone usually reserved for busting teachers' unions, Christie told clerks who hold traditional values, “You took the job, and you took the oath.” He would offer no exemption for an individual whose conscience would not allow him to participate in a union the vast majority of the world's religions deem sinful.

“When you go back and re-read the oath it doesn’t give you an out. You have to do it,” he said.

He told a reporter that there “might” be “individual circumstances” that “merit some examination, but none that come immediately to mind for me.”

“I think for folks who are in the government world, they kind of have to do their job, whether you agree with the law or you don’t,” the pugnacious governor said.

Since the Supreme Court voted 5-4 to legalize homosexual “marriage” last Friday, elected officials have grappled with how to safeguard the rights of those who have deeply held religious beliefs that would not allow them to participate in such a ceremony.

Christie's response differs markedly from other GOP hopefuls' responses to the Supreme Court ruling. Mike Huckabee, for instance, has specifically said that clerks should have conscience rights. Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal signed an executive order granting such rights and ordered clerks to wait until a pending court case was fully adjudicated before any clerk issues a marriage license to a homosexual couple.

Christie gave up a legal appeal after a superior court judge struck down his state's voter-approved constitutional marriage protection amendment. New Jersey is the only state where such a low court overturned the will of the voters.

The decision to ignore conscience rights adds to the growing number of Christie's positions that give conservatives pause.

The natural locus of support for a Christie 2016 presidential run is the Republican's socially liberal donor class, for personal as well as political reasons. His wife works on Wall Street, and some of the GOP's high-dollar donors – including Paul Singer – have courted Christie for years.

However, this year Jeb Bush, Marco Rubio, and to a lesser degree Scott Walker have eclipsed Christie as the preferred candidates of the boardroom donors – who sometimes prefer Democrats to Republicans.

Christie also used language during a speech before the Republican Jewish Coalition last year, which concerned some major GOP donors.

Christie is reportedly spending this weekend with Mitt Romney and his family at Romney's New Hampshire home. Romney declined to enter the 2016 race himself and may be able to open his donor list to Christie's struggling campaign.

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After having a girl with Down syndrome, this couple adopted two more

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By Ben Johnson

LINO LAKE, MN, July 3, 2015 (LifeSiteNews) – For most people, having five biological children would have been enough. In fact, for many Americans, large families are treated as a scandal or a burden.

But one family made the decision, not just to have a large family, but to give a home to some of the most vulnerable children in the world: Girls born overseas with Down syndrome.

Lee and Karen Shervheim love all seven of their children, biological or otherwise. Undeterred by having twin boys – Daniel and Andrew, 18 – they had Sam four years later.

They now have three daughters who are all 11 years old. All three have Down syndrome.

And two of them are adopted.

About the time their eight-year-old son, David, was born, Lee and Karen decided to adopt a child with Down syndrome to be a companion to their daughter, Annie.

They made the further unexpected choice to adopt a child from Eastern Europe with the help of Reece's Rainbow, which helps parents adopt children with Down syndrome.

“Between my wife and I, we couldn’t get it out of our heads,” Lee told the Quad City Press. “So many children need families and we knew we could potentially do something about it.”

After originally deciding to adopt Katie, they spent six weeks in Kiev, visiting an orphanage in nearby Kharkov. While there, they decided they may have room in their heart, and their home, for another child.

When they saw a picture of Emie striking the same pose as their biological daughter in one of their photographs, they knew they would come home with two children.

Both girls were the same age as their Annie. She would not lack for companionship, as they worried.

Lee said after the Ukrainian government – finally – completed the paperwork, they returned to the United States, when the real challenges began.

“The unvarnished truth,” Lee told the Press, is that adopting the Russian-speaking special needs children “was really disruptive to our family. They came with so many issues that we had not anticipated.”

After teaching them sign language and appropriate behavior, they moved to Lino Lake, Minnesota and found a new support group in Eagle Brook Church. There they found personal assistance and spiritual solace.

Every year in the past seven years has been better and better, they say.

“I think my girls can do almost anything they want to do,” he said, “and that’s what I want to help them become.”

The family's devotion is fueled by their faith, and it informs the sense of humor Lee showed in a tweet during the 2014 midterm elections:

It takes a special person to believe in the potential of the “mentally retarded,” as they were once labeled. Today, 90 percent of all babies diagnosed with Down syndrome in the womb will be aborted. The percentage is higher in some countries. Some have even spoken of "a world without people with Down syndrome."

Their God, and their experience, tell them that every child has infinite worth and potential, Lee told local media, and he would encourage anyone to follow his footsteps and adopt a Down syndrome child – or two.

“The message is that it really doesn’t matter where you started or where you came from,” Lee said. “There are endless opportunities for everyone, whether they have disabilities or not. They deserve a shot.”

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