By Christy Barritt
FCC Considers Revamping Indecency Policy
The Federal Communications Commission is considering loosening its standards when it comes to nudity and language on television.
According to the FCC, they’re contemplating focusing their efforts only on “egregious” cases of nudity and language. They defined egregious as repeated use of an expletive, for example.
Tim Winter, president of the Parents Television Council, said that wasn’t an acceptable definition. “Either material is legally indecent or it is not,” he said. “It is unnecessary for indecent content to be repeated many times in order to be actionable, and it is unwise for the FCC to pursue a new course which will guarantee nothing but a new rash of new litigation.”
The Supreme Court ruled in 2012 that the FCC’s policies were too vague, but the commission has yet to define them.
Abortion-Inducing Drug Available to Women of All Ages
A federal judge in New York ordered the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to make Plan B available to all women, including teenagers younger than 17, without a prescription.
Plan B is an emergency contraceptive, also known as the morning after pill. Many believe this pill causes abortions when taken. Previously the drug was available without prescription to women 17 or older with proof of age.
Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius overruled a recommendation in 2011 to sell the drug over-the-counter. She said she was concerned about young girls having access to the drug without doctor supervision.
Many are concerned about this ruling because it will give young girls unsupervised access to a powerful drug without parental knowledge.
Pharmacists Protected in Missouri
Recently the Missouri Senate passed a bill that will protect the conscience of pharmacy owners throughout the state.
The legislation, known as the Freedom of Conscience Act, gives pharmacists the right to refuse to sell products to which they are morally opposed. Primarily, this means that pharmacists won’t have to stock certain drugs—such as ones that cause abortions—if it goes against their conscience.
“There is no realistic threat to anyone’s health posed by allowing objecting pharmacy owners to step out of the way,” said Mark Rienzi, an attorney for the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty. “The government shouldn’t kick business owners out of the market just because it dislikes their religious beliefs.”
Hate Group Label Dropped from Pro-life Group
Johns Hopkins University finally allowed a pro-life group to be part of its recognized campus clubs, but only after the group threatened legal action against the school.
JHU initially denied the petition of the pro-life group Voice for Life. A member of the college’s student government association sent an e-mail to the club likening it to a hate group. The comparison brought a backlash on campus along with national media attention.
The Foundation for Individual Rights in Education represented the club and said the university was on “shaky legal ground.”
“The viewpoint-based rejection of VFL in this case contradicts the principles established by the Supreme Court when it held that public universities are required to grant expressive student organizations recognition and access to the funding of student activities on a viewpoint-neutral basis,” FIRE said in a statement.
Christy Barritt is an award-winning author, freelance writer, and speaker living in Chesapeake, Virginia. She and her husband Scott have two sons.