George Mason University, starting in late October of 2018, rolled out a new initiative that was approved by university officials which was being lobbied for by the pro-abortion student group, Patriots for Choice. The newly approved initiative gave the green light to a third party to supply the Plan B pill, to be sold in one of the on-campus vending machines to students. The vending machine is located in the building on campus referred to as “SUB 1,” which is the equivalent to a common hub or union on a college campus where students eat and study. And the university stands to make a commission from the sales.
According to an October 15th article in The Fourth Estate, the Patriots for Choice organization’s leadership claimed on a flyer that the pill being sold “helps prevent pregnancy when taken within 72 hours of unprotected sex or birth control failure.” The pro-abortion student group also made the claim that the contraceptive “is not an abortion pill,” and “will not work if [the user] is already pregnant.” The Wall Street Journal also previously reported on the growing trend across the country for higher education institutions to offer Plan B in vending machines.
In light of George Mason University approving the Plan B pill and placing it into the vending machines, Live Action News launched an investigation into determining why this occurrence happened at the public institution by means of filing a FOIA (Freedom of Information Act) request. The findings suggested that there was not only little push back against the student organizations request, but also that “the Pill will be sold in the Vengo Vending Machines for $30 and the University will receive its previously negotiated commission of 9%.”
Additionally, emails between the Executive Director of GMU Student Health Services, Dr. Lisa L. Park, and GMU’s Administrative Director of Student Health Services, Dr. Carol J. Filak, responded to the request by offering times to meet in person, and later approving the ladder steps for the permanent placement of the pill on campus.
According to other FOIA documents requested by Live Action News, Patriots for Choice requested and was approved to spend $749 on November 15th, 2018 for an event billed as “Feminist Open Mic Night.” Students fees and outside tax dollars go to funding these activities through the office of the GMU Student Government. Live Action News has reached out to GMU’s pro-abortion student group, Patriots for Choice, for comment on the story multiple times but the group has not responded. University spokesman Michael Sandler did comment to Live Action News with a statement that the “9 percent commission is the standard flat rate that applies to all products sold from the Vengo Vending Machines.”
Further, a representative for Canteen, the Vending Machine company, wrote in an email to a GMU administrator, David Atkins, that “in the event we receive any negative feedback that we believe impacts our ability to continue to offer the product, we will remove them from the campus.”
Rose Pascarell, Vice President for University Life, told Live Action News, “The product was requested by students, and the university was able to accommodate. The product is sold over the counter at most local drug stores with no restrictions. Our students now have access and are able to purchase the same product on campus.”
*Chris Traeger voice* This is LITERALLY one of the best things to ever happen! https://t.co/8vw4f6AFv4
— HC George Mason (@HCGeorgeMason) October 4, 2018
“Although the product is medically safe for people to self-administer and does not require a prescription, we would always prefer that students talk with medical or counseling practitioners about preventing unwanted pregnancy before using,” Pascarell continued. “However, some students who may not want to or don’t feel comfortable entering a health care agency are also able to access and our goal is to be responsive to student needs.”
The Patriots for Choice student page states that their purpose on campus is to “support and protect, as a fundamental right and value, a woman’s freedom to make personal decisions regarding the full range of reproductive choices…”
Currently, the student group is seeking positive feedback to report back to university officials. “We need your experience to help demonstrate the need for EC on campus and how it helps student well being,” the pro-abortion organization wrote in a November 14th Facebook post.
The group is currently seeking to expand the placement of the pills to be placed in more Vengo vending machines on the Fairfax campus along with a push to drown out opposition to their agenda.
Zachary Petrizzo is a sophomore at George Mason University. His previous work has appeared in The Daily Caller, Townhall, Campus Reform, and The College Fix, among others.
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