Today, on Halloween no less, the Earth welcomed the baby who tipped world population over the 7 billion mark.

I probably wouldn’t have known much about the topic of world population but for a fluke as I prepared to graduate from the University of Texas Permian Basin the summer of 1974. To my surprise, I was told I needed three more hours of science.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sc4HxPxNrZ0&feature=related[/youtube]
National Geographic video showing population growth

It had been a long 12-year road for me, what with three children to care for, a five-year stint teaching Head Start, and other detours along the way. Finally, I thought, I’d be done by the end of June.

Once I got the bad news, I looked for the easiest science course I could find, preferably one without the

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Yes, of course. Adoption reform is an issue on which those who oppose abortion and those who support a woman’s right to choose abortion should be able to work together to forge common ground for policies that make adoption a genuine choice. See there, Steve Waldman and I have found common ground already. So now…

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Just because every generation has to speak in its own tongues doesn’t mean any generation will find that elusive common ground between pro-and anti-choice points of view when they frame the questions poorly.

One of those conversations is going on now over at RHRealityCheck, a website I respect and love, but that I think has allowed itself to be led down the primrose path to nowhere on this issue. For example, check out this utterly ridiculous bloviation about the merits of paying women to carry pregnancies to term by–as they adorably acknowldege–“two men, no uteruses”: Will Saletan, who never misses a chance to pontificate about how pro-choice he is while capitulating to anti-choice arguments and Beliefnet’s Steven Waldman.

Remind me, how do you spell “c-o-e-r-c-i-o-n”? How much money would it take to make you carry a pregnancy to term against your will?

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2:52 AmieN: Welcome everyone to RH Reality Check’s second in our monthly series of live-chats on the reproductive health and rights issues facing the country today. Of course, today is the 36th anniversary of Roe v. Wade and President Obama is at the helm. We have a lot about which to be hopeful (and thankful)…

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If the excellent website RH Reality Check isn’t on your bookmark or Google Reader list, it should be. Every day it brings me up to date on the good news, bad news, and interesting takes people are talking about concerning the big picture of reproductive health, rights, and justice. Not to mention handy information about things like how to knit a condom amulet, which would be much more useful than the abstinence only (non) sex (non) education that has been promoted by the (non) religious (non) right for the past decade or two.

Today, there’s Scott Swenson’s report on the encouraging trend by states to turn down funding for the now-discredited Federal abstinence only program, which never made any sense. I mean, ignorance has never really been bliss. That’s especially so when silence about sexual health and decision making is exacerbated by inaccurate teaching concerning the consequences of not just saying “no”, while failing to tell young people what “yes” means. Here’s Scott’s summary:

The Associated Press is just out with a major story about how in tough economic times, cash-strapped states are refusing federal tax dollars for abstinence-only programs. The story is one more in a long line of damning pieces of evidence about the failures of abstinence-only programs, the waste of tax dollars they represent, and should be a wake up call to Congress.

AP reporter Kevin Freking writes:

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