reported today are divided into three sections each one is a different aspect .


This had to be done by Nancy Pelosi. The bill was drowning and this was the only way for a chance to save it. Apparently there are a fair amount of Catholic lawmakers in the party who actually (unlike Pelosi) take their religion seriously. I haven’t read the amendment in question but by allowing the vote it accomplishes two things.

If the Amendment passes then it’s supporters not only have an excuse to vote for the Bill and a political win to take back to their districts but it removes a key talking point against it.

If it fails then the Squish Catholics can say they they tried and give themselves that excuse to vote for the final version. Or they can argue that they can see if it is re-amended in conference and fall back on the “Oh I’ll vote against it then” business.

It also tangentially gives Harry (“Pro life”) Reid some cover in his re-election.

The question if it passes really becomes will Pro-Abortion legislators support the bill as amended? It is unlikely that they would not be a majority in the conference so they can try to strip it there

I suspect Pelosi’s ideal solution is the Amendment is voted on and fails, then she keeps the pro-abortion side while grabbing the squishes, that would likely be the Maximum amount of votes available.

On strictly a political basis it is a win for Pelosi and a smart move, it might not be a derisive win but she needed one badly.


It can not be overestimated how important this is in a religious sense. People don’t realize just how many Catholics in particular would vote democratic if they were not so stoutly in favor of Abortion. My parish priest for example is extremely liberal but extremely Catholic and (unlike many) the Catholic trumps the liberal.

On a simple moral basis removing Abortion funding improves the bill incredibly. It is also a big win for Catholic groups and Anti-abortion people in general. If a final bill has the endorsement of the Conference of Catholic Bishops over abortion then you can’t get a better imprimatur (religiously speaking) than that.


In terms of the bill itself, it changes very little. The bill will still be a disaster for health care both in America and the world. Forgetting that it would be run by the gang that can’t shoot straight, the costs, the death of private health care, the erosion of quality and the drop in the profit motive (the US is where the profit exists in healthcare, it that is gone then Europe and Canada can say goodbye to their cheap drugs) I believe it will also cause best and brightest to decide that the years and expense of a medical education are not worth it for the return.

That isn’t even talking about the budget busting aspect of this bill, none of that has changed.

My verdict: If the Amendment passes it means the bill will for now meet the “not funding murdering children” standard. That’s a pretty low hurdle. That raises the bill from “Evil” to “Absolutely Disastrous”. I’d have to say absolutely disastrous just doesn’t meet my threshold of support.

Will it pass, the odds are better than 24 hours ago. I would have said no yesterday, today I say perhaps.

Update: The American Papist is with me, and I agree with his advice:

Please continue to email and call (202-224-3121 ) your representatives to demand that they vote YES on the pro-life stupak amendment, and then vote NO on HR 3962.

Works for me.

Update 2: Politico says the pro-abortion congressmen and woman are going to play along:

Most Democratic advocates of abortion rights appear likely to swallow hard and vote for a health care overhaul even though it is likely to include an amendment that would effectively bar insurers that participate in a public exchange from providing most abortions, according to several lawmakers who attended a private meeting on the topic Saturday morning in the Capitol basement.

Asked whether her allies in the pro-choice movement would support the bill with the language offered yesterday by Rep. Bart Stupak (D-Mich.), Speaker Nancy Pelosi offered a one-word answer: “Yes.”

It may in fact simply be a tactical one:

But the lawmakers said they would work hard to whip the Stupak amendment in hopes of keeping it out of the final bill, and several said they weren’t ready to declare how they would vote if Stupak’s language made it in.

“We’re nor conceding that,” Rep. Jan Schakowsky (D-Ill.) said. “We’ll cross that bridge when we come to it.”

Blue NC is unhappy:

Whatever the reason, conservatives are getting their vote and progressives have been shut down.

Firedoglake is very angry:

Thank you, Planned Parenthood and NARAL, from the bottom of my heart, for sitting on your hands and enabling this shit. Hope you have fun at all those Common Purpose meetings, those cocktail parties at the Pelosi’s.

You own this one.

It’s not like they haven’t been perfecting this act for a long time. Helping the Democrats stay in power by giving them the Official Good Gyno Seal of Approval even when they do things like — oh, I don’t know, voting for Samuel Alito and tell rape victims to take a cab to another hospital if they want to get Plan B contraception.

Could they whip the pro-choice women to block the rule if they want to? Of course they could. Yank their endorsements and they could cause havoc in the Democratic party. But they won’t, because Nancy Keenan and Cecile Richards value their own personal position in the veal pen pecking order WAY too much for that.

Well Jane I suggest you call your people and make sure they vote against this bill then.

Update 3: Be aware of course that if this DOES pass it will pass with no more than 225 votes if even. Nancy will give as many of her Blue dogs the ability to vote “No” as she can for appearances sake.

Update 4: The Debate is going on the floor but the fight is going on out of sight. A great pol doesn’t call for a vote unless they know they have the votes. Pelosi is not a great pol but she continues to play the cards she has. The idea of playing the Obama card considering the results of the election seems humorous. I’d think he would have other things to do but then again he has George and Barbara Bush to visit Ft. Hood instead.

Apparently said president is assuring Pro-Abortion democrats that he will make sure the language is killed in conference. For some reason the left is convinced:

No Progressive Block, apparently due to Obama reassurance. To my knowledge, no pro-choice Democrats have threatened to vote against the bill as a result of this. Apparently, this is because of a rumor going around Congress that President Obama promised Henry Waxman that he will “personally” work to remove the language in conference. I feel so reassured.

And the footsoldiers of the left are determined to fight:

If the Stupak language survives the conference committee, it is incumbent on those of us who support reproductive rights to pull our support, and actively campaign for defeat of the bill. For today, I’ll grit my teeth and make note of which Democrats to lean on when the vote for final passage comes. But that’s for today. Tomorrow starts the fight to make sure that the bill that ultimately is passed is a bill that supporters of reproductive rights can support.

Remember Abortion is the first and most important sacrament of the left.

Robert Stacy meanwhile says a basic truth:

Without regard to policy, the political question is simple: Whose analysis do you trust? Should Democrats in purple districts trust Nancy Pelosi’s assertion that passing this bill will not have disastrous electoral consequences for Democrats in the 2010 midterms? Or should those Democrats trust their GOP rivals, who appear ready to bet that there will be no downside to a “no” vote.

These purple-district Democrats are being asked to take a gamble, and I would not want to be in their shoes. The “no” vote is the safest bet for any Democrat unsure of his re-election chances in 2010. By voting “no,” the Democrat “takes the issue away” from his Republican opponent, and will be able to point to his health-care vote as evidence of his bipartisanship, thus deflecting any charge of being a rubber stamp for the “Pelosi agenda.”

Update 5: The public Whip count is meaningless. Allahpundit says:

It’ll be razor thin.

That’s just silly, if Pelosi had 50 votes in her pocket the vote would be razor thin. She is going to let every blue dog she can vote no. If she doesn’t she is a fool and the fact that she is having this debate suggests that she is NOT a fool.

If I was Cantor and I had the votes to kill it I would be VERY quiet about it. They can’t take the chance of the democrats pulling the bill if they see it is about to die.

Ironically if I’m Pelosi and I have the votes I’m keeping it quiet too and letting one or two blue dogs off the hook at a time to give the other side the perception that they can win. So this story is a bad idea:

Hours before an expected vote on a sweeping health care bill, House Democrats believe they’ve secured the 218 votes they need to approve the bill, several party insiders said.

Let’s see what actually happens, I think the odds are much better then they were but I’m not prepared to make a prediction.

Update 6: The Stupak amendment is about to pass. With 2 min to go 46 dems have voted for it. If the rest of the Republicans vote for it then it will make it.

Update 7: One Republican has voted “present” on the amendment (Shadegg) but it is passing by a comfortable margin. 240-194

Update 8: 176-258 against the Republican alternative one Republican voting against (Paul?) Tim Johnson was the vote against.

Update 9: On the motion to re-commit there are three republicans voting with Democrats no idea who they are. I presume it is Johnson of Ill (what does Obama have on him?) and Cao but that’s just a guess Motion to re-commit is flaming out only 13 dems voting to re-commit That’s a real bad sign, the Abortion amendment must have meant more than I thought.

Update 10: Final vote, nitty gritty time. All the cable networks are now following the vote. Republicans need 41 plus one extra for any republican who might cross over, at the moment 26 Dems have voted against with 12 min to go…29 dems left to vote 30 dem votes against…34 against 18 left on the dem side…36 against 14 left…36 against 10 left to vote…36/9…36/7 not looking good. I think she has the votes and are just figuring who she can let go…37//4…39 dems against, that is exactly what is going on. 5 min left and 1 dem left plus 2 republicans. Right now 218-214 will anyone change?…One republican has voted for. 219-215 with one not voting (presumably Pelosi as tradition dictates). 220-215 Pelosi’s gambit pays off big. Joseph Gao of La is the lone Republican.

Congratulations to the Republican Party for their almost certain election victory coming in 2010.

…that took place around 6:47 a.m. EST and it’s one of the funniest things I’ve seen in a while, mocking the MSM predictions that the Election of Obama has changed the country.

Now the Dede the angry has decided to go democrat: (Someone should ask Susan Collins if she is glad she campaigned for her last week).

He made fun of the fact that the media is insisting the the reason why Dede the angry was dumped was abortion and gay marriage. An example:

The Brooksville Republican — and Albany native — was in New York recently to help Scozzafava raise money along with Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine.

In an interview last week, Brown-Waite said Scozzafava was being unfairly maligned and had a solid Republican record. Scozzafava ran into troubles with her base — including Sarah Palin — for supporting gay rights and abortion rights and was perceived as not tough enough on fiscal issues. “I resented that here was a woman whose stand is so similar to John McHue’s (who resigned the seat to become President Obama’s Army Secretary) and yet she’s being attacked.”

Frank Rich was even crazier but lets look at Sarah Palin’s actual endorsement:

The people of the 23rd Congressional District of New York are ready to shake things up, and Doug Hoffman is coming on strong as Election Day approaches! He needs our help now.

The votes of every member of Congress affect every American, so it’s important for all of us to pay attention to this important Congressional campaign in upstate New York. I am very pleased to announce my support for Doug Hoffman in his fight to be the next Representative from New York’s 23rd Congressional district. It’s my honor to endorse Doug and to do what I can to help him win, including having my political action committee, SarahPAC, donate to his campaign the maximum contribution allowed by law.

Our nation is at a crossroads, and this is once again a “time for choosing.”

Pretty generic, but the next paragraph is sure to be a litany of social issues right?

The federal government borrows, spends, and prints too much money, while our national debt hits a record high. Government is growing while the private sector is shrinking, and unemployment is on the rise. Doug Hoffman is committed to ending the reckless spending in Washington, D.C. and the massive increase in the size and scope of the federal government. He is also fully committed to supporting our men and women in uniform as they seek to honorably complete their missions overseas.

And best of all, Doug Hoffman has not been anointed by any political machine.

Doug Hoffman stands for the principles that all Republicans should share: smaller government, lower taxes, strong national defense, and a commitment to individual liberty.

Well yeah yeah yeah spending spending spending but I’m sure the next part is going to be all over Gay Marriage:

Political parties must stand for something. When Republicans were in the wilderness in the late 1970s, Ronald Reagan knew that the doctrine of “blurring the lines” between parties was not an appropriate way to win elections. Unfortunately, the Republican Party today has decided to choose a candidate who more than blurs the lines, and there is no real difference between the Democrat and the Republican in this race. This is why Doug Hoffman is running on the Conservative Party’s ticket.

Well she mentions Reagan and he was against Gay Marriage, of course there was no pol for gay marriage during the Reagan years. So it’s maybe implied but I’m sure she will finish with social issues:

Republicans and conservatives around the country are sending an important message to the Republican establishment in their outstanding grassroots support for Doug Hoffman: no more politics as usual.

You can help Doug by visiting his official website below and joining me in supporting his campaign:

Well the next line is going to stress it. What there is no next line?

I guess Joe was right.

Vote Hoffman

Full disclosure: I am as a practicing Catholic of course against Gay Marriage and Abortion.

Outrage continues over the Vatican investigation of Nuns in America

“We can’t figure out why this is happening,” said Flannery, director of the Jesuit retreat house in Parma. “We’re just doing our jobs.”

The New York Times Maureen Dowd:

Nuns need to be even more sepia-toned for the über-conservative pope, who was christened “God’s Rottweiler” for his enforcement of orthodoxy. Once a conscripted member of the Hitler Youth, Benedict pardoned a schismatic bishop who claimed that there was no Nazi gas chamber. He also argued on a trip to Africa that distributing condoms could make the AIDS crisis worse.

The Vatican is now conducting two inquisitions into the “quality of life” of American nuns, a dwindling group with an average age of about 70, hoping to herd them back into their old-fashioned habits and convents and curb any speck of modernity or independence.

Nuns who took Vatican II as a mandate for reimagining their mission “started to look uppity to an awful lot of bishops and priests and, of course, the Vatican,” said Kenneth Briggs, the author of “Double Crossed: Uncovering the Catholic Church’s Betrayal of American Nuns.”

And the letters backed her up:

I came away amazed and profoundly touched by the sisters’ faithfulness to tradition as well as by their spirituality, community, ministry and joy in vowed lives devoted entirely to the church’s mission. No Catholics on earth are more faithful to the Catholic Church.

I agree, nuns are the rock of the church in America, it’s not as if they were out there supporting Abortion publicly. Oh wait:

A Dominican nun has been seen frequenting an abortion facility in Illinois recently – but not, as one might expect, to pray for an end to abortion or to counsel women seeking abortions, but to volunteer as a clinic escort.

Local pro-life activists say that they recognized the escort at the ACU Health Center as Sr. Donna Quinn, a nun outspokenly in favor of legalized abortion, after seeing her photo in a Chicago Tribune article.

Well it’s not as if her Prioress was backing her, oh wait:

And what about the pertinent Dominican religious superior? Why, she’s going to bat for Sister Donna’s right to choose the choice she has chosen:

Sr. Patricia Mulcahey, OP, Quinn’s Prioress at the Sinsinawa Dominican community, said in an email response to LSN that the nun sees her volunteer activity as “accompanying women who are verbally abused by protestors. Her stance is that if the protestors were not abusive, she would not be there.” Though Sr. Mulcahey claimed that her sisters “support the teachings of the Catholic Church,” she declined to comment on Quinn’s public protest of Catholic Church teaching.

See a contradiction here? Well you’re wrong. It might look a little odd at first glance, but in reality this is an example of the healthy and fully renewed religious life called for by the Second Vatican Council.

Well it’s not as if this was a violation of Canon law, now that you mention it:

1. Canon 695 calls for the mandatory dismissal of a religious guilty of the delict of abortion described in Canon 1398. A case can be made, I think, that Sr. Donna is an accomplice to abortion under Canon 1329, which, in turn, might bring her within the scope of the dismissal provision of Canon 695. The novelty of nuns serving as murder mistresses at abortion clinics means that there is not much jurisprudence for such cases, I grant, but it is still a theory worth exploring.

If, however, a more direct process is desired, Canon 696 seems a better place to start.

2. Under Canon 696, dismissal from religious life can be imposed against one who gives “grave scandal arising from culpable behavior”. This unusually broad language allows superiors to move against a religious whose specific conduct could not have been predicted when the revised Code was being drafted (perhaps, like Sr. Donna’s, it could scarcely have been imagined!), but which we now know can be both imagined and committed. So, to the extent that conducting babies to their death is scandalous behavior for a religious woman, Sr. Donna deserves dismissal.

3. Various provisions of penal law, for example Canon 1369 (authorizing a “just penalty” against those who use the means of social communication to gravely injure good morals or to excite contempt against religion or the Church) are applicable, I suggest, in response to the kind of verbiage that Sr. Donna directs from time to time against religion in general and the Catholic Church in particular. But again, all of this seems self-evident.

Hey ya know maybe there is something to this Vatican investigation after all?

As I’ve said before Catholicism is a voluntary activity. If sister Quinn wants to push Abortion and aid at abortion clinics, it’s a free country, she just shouldn’t do it as a Catholic nun. If she insists on doing it as a Catholic Nun and her superiors do nothing then they ought not to be whining about the Vatican investigating them. It’s a variation of the murder your parents cry as an orphan business.

In the end Sr. Quinn will do what she wants and the media will fawn on her and she and her superiors will be celebrated for the rest of their lives…

…after that they’re on their own.

…if the Catholic Mika knew about his stand concerning ALREADY BORN human life?

Singer says, “If we compare a severely defective human infant with a nonhuman animal, a dog or a pig, for example, we will often find the nonhuman to have superior capacities, both actual and potential, for rationality, self-consciousness, communication and anything else that can plausibly be considered morally significant.”

When Singer came to teach at Princeton, he was protested by Not Dead Yet, a disabilities rights group. They took offense at Singer’s books, which say it should be legal to kill disabled infants, as well as children and adults with severe cognitive disabilities.

Singer suggests that individual human worth is based on its usefulness to others

Funny that’s just how slaveholders considered the value of their slaves, not because of their humanity but by what they could be used to do.

If Mika doesn’t know who this guy is that’s a point against her for ignorance. If she does then she should be damn ashamed of herself for giving him props.

At the corner this morning this question is asked about John Brown on the 150th’s anniversary of his raid on Harper’s Ferry.

Was Brown a hero of black freedom or a bloodthirsty terrorist?

One could argue that he can be both. The cause of abolition was certainly just, no rational person would make an argument against that today.

Fredrick Douglas
certainly considered him heroic:

“The true question is, Did John Brown draw his sword against slavery and thereby lose his life in vain? And to this I answer ten thousand times, No! No man fails, or can fail, who so grandly gives himself and all he has to a righteous cause. No man, who in his hour of extremest need, when on his way to meet an ignominious death, could so forget himself as to stop and kiss a little child, one of the hated race for whom he was about to die, could by any possibility fail.

“Did John Brown fail? Ask Henry A. Wise in whose house less than two years after, a school for the emancipated slaves was taught.

“Did John Brown fail? Ask James M. Mason, the author of the inhuman fugitive slave bill, who was cooped up in Fort Warren, as a traitor less than two years from the time that he stood over the prostrate body of John Brown.

I have a hard time thinking that way because of slightly mitigating fact that Brown was a murderous bloodthirsty bastard.

At the Doyle farm, James and two of his sons, William and Drury, were dragged outside and hacked up with short, heavy sabres donated to Brown in Akron, Ohio. Mrs. Doyle, a daughter, and fourteen year old John were spared. The gang then moved on to Allen Wilkinson’s place. He was ‘taken prisoner’ amid the cries of a sick wife and two children. Two saddles and a rifle were apparently confiscated. The third house visited that night was owned by James Harris. In addition to his wife and young child, Harris had three other men sleeping there. Only one of them, William Sherman, was executed. Weapons, a saddle, and a horse were confiscated from the house. While members of the rifle company, including four of Brown’s sons, asserted that their Captain did not commit any of the actual murders himself, he was the undisputed leader and made the decisions as to who should be spared.

Nathaniel Hawthorne said no man was more justly hanged. That’s a generalization but there no question that Brown no matter how right his cause of abolition was a bloodthirsty killer and deserved the punishment he got. His cause in no way mitigates the crime or the sin of murder and can’t be used to justify either. I can’t join in the celebration of Brown that Douglas has. I don’t have the stomach for it.

And for those who would dispute my position because of the lives saved and the evil that ended because of his actions lets play a game and substitute the words “Scott Roeder” for “John Brown”.

Lets say that Roe v Wade is overturned and someday in the future a prominent opponent of Abortion gave a speech quoting the names of people alive because of the repeal of Roe v Wade and the good they had done. What would you think if that person asked used that example and asked if Scott Roeder died (or more likely was imprisioned) in vain?

Personally it would make me sick.

Scott Roeder and John Brown are two heads on the same coin. Bloodthirsty murderers who killed using the cloak of a just cause to try to justify evil deeds. The study of Brown is justified and necessary as his actions were a turning point in American history.

I think the idolization of either of those men is obscene. Any Catholic in particular who would consider it should re-read this post.

Update: Honesty in Motion flatters me. You are too kind.

…apparently not so well:

In his address at the University of Notre Dame, Obama talked a good game about respecting conscience on abortion rights. He did the same thing when he met the Pope.
But that was all it was — talk.

The Obama Administration’s attack on Belmont Abbey College proves that.

Apparently the Catholic College decided that the “Catholic” part actually matters as they were unwilling to cover contraception, abortion, and voluntary sterilization all directly opposed to the college’s faith so of course we had a lawsuit and the results were interesting…

Belmont Abbey College was not discriminating against women. Unlike many “believers in name only” the college was adhering to the principles of its faith.

At first, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) found no evidence of gender discrimination by Belmont Abbey College… After a few weeks, the EEOC mysteriously reversed course and announced, in effect, that the college had better toe the Administration’s line, or else.

They are now demanding the school go against the very principles it exists to serve.

I presume they are going to fight it as far as they can, if they lose then there is only one choice that is acceptable in terms of faith and that is to simply drop all coverage divert the cost into the pay of the employees so they can purchase private insurance to cover what they wish.

But I’m over-reacting after all the state wouldn’t go after Catholics for obeying their faith would they?

So how did that work out Fr. Jenkins?

Of course, this does not mean we support all of his positions. The invitation to President Obama to be our Commencement speaker should not be taken as condoning or endorsing his positions on specific issues regarding the protection of human life, including abortion and embryonic stem cell research. Yet, we see his visit as a basis for further positive engagement.”

Maybe you should thank him.

Over at the Reclusive Leftist Violet notes the banality of the media’s Joe Wilson obsession:

Almost 24 hours later, that’s still the picture. Look at this snapshot of Memeorandum from 6:40 pm today. The top nineteen stories are about the shouting Congressman. Nineteen. Then there are a few stories about the speech itself — waaaay down the page — and then it’s on to John Stossel.

Personally I figure it’s because they don’t want to cover the Acorn stories, but that isn’t what really gets Violet upset this is:

By the way: my favorite part of the speech? The part where Obama lumped in abortions with death panels and illegal aliens and other crazy-ass shit his healthcare plan would never pay for.

No Violet is vehemently pro-abortion and uses a term “Godbags” that I frankly don’t care for, but she is a honest and honorable person of the left for all that. She saw though this president months ago and as a person of the left saw betrayal coming.

I think however when it comes to abortion her fear is misplaced and any optimism is not warranted on our part so I left the following comment on her blog:

Violet I wouldn’t get all worked up about the abortion statement.

As a person vehemently opposed to abortion I can assure you that when he said that he was lying through his teeth and no serious person opposed to abortion believes a word of it.

So trust me, although we both know that this president doesn’t do honesty too well abortion would be a bridge too far for most of his acolytes.

And if it turns out I’m wrong then that wouldn’t signal a change on the left concerning abortion (although I’d like it to be) it would signal that support for President Obama has officially morphed into a religion, and that would be the worst development yet.

You know I really wonder if the Obamacult is strong enough to overcome almost any actual position. You never know.

BTW I can’t take credit for the tag “obamacult” on wordpress, that honor goes to the lefty blog semidi who used it twice last year. The Hillary people saw this first and recognized it for what it was.

Found this on HotMES it may have a rule 5 photo but it has a golden rule story:

“My doctor told me there is nothing you will ever regret about having the baby, but he was like, ‘You may regret not having the baby.’ And I was like: That is so true. And it just hit me.

Now it’s true that she doesn’t declare that abortion shouldn’t take place but that is was wrong for her, considering what she was being told that right choice is a big thing:

“I definitely thought about it long and hard, about if I wanted to keep the baby or not, and I wasn’t thinking about adoption,” … “I do think every woman should have the right to do what they want, but I don’t think it’s talked through enough. I can’t even tell you how many people just say, ‘Oh, get an abortion.’ Like it’s not a big deal.” …

The American Papist is pleased as well.

The People article is here.

It will be interesting if this makes her fade away, of course if she wants positive media attention she can always pull an Annie Lennox and attack the Pope.

You know that in a district where there hasn’t been a republican congressman since 1890 and is 64% black it might be politically necessary for a newly elected republican to support the president on some key issues. Even if Abortion is paid for in it..

But Don Surber reports that when congressman Anh Cao says he is a Catholic, unlike say a John Kerry or a Nancy Pelosi he means it:

“Being a Jesuit, I very much adhere to the notion of social justice, ” Cao said. “I do fully understand the need of providing everyone with access to health care, but to me personally, I cannot be privy to a law that will allow the potential of destroying thousands of innocent lives.

“I know that voting against the health care bill will probably be the death of my political career, ” Cao said, “but I have to live with myself, and I always reflect on the phrase of the New Testament, ‘How does it profit a man’s life to gain the world but to lose his soul.’ “

This is what a true Catholic Looks like.

…I’ve read so far is from George Jonas called Thoughts from an ex-fetus

We consider the ancient Spartan model barbaric, for instance, although in some ways it was much like ours. Spartans, too, regarded letting children live or die a private choice, although they did involve father in the decision, not only mother, and extended it to born children, not just fetuses. Another difference was that Spartans, instead of relying on vacuum suction, threw unwanted children off a mountain called Taigetos.

For Spartans, “unwanted” meant “substandard.” For us, it means “inconvenient.” We don’t want standard or even super-standard children if they cramp our style.

Living in an epoch that is selfish as well as matriarchal, our lifeboats are no longer marked “women and children first,” only “women first.” We invent euphemisms, such as “choice” for killing, and sophomoric dilemmas, such as pretending not to know when life begins, to ensure that nothing hinders Virginia’s quest for Santa Claus. No obstacle must interfere with her goal of self-fulfillment — least of all an issue (as it were) of her healthy sexual appetite.

The whole thing is spectacular.