MOP UP: In order to satisfy my overactive appetite for change, I've decided this will be my last Eighth Day column. That means there's a bit of housekeeping to do:

My "Ticked Off" file yields a report from the Alan Guttmacher Institute, relating the bad news about the slowdown in the creation of new birth-control devices. The non-profit organization says lawsuits and regulatory problems have turned off big companies from pursuing research.

Tough. Women's health is at risk here, and regulations and lawsuits are what keep industry honest. Can you say IUD? If companies came up with an idea better than the female condom, they'd make money. Tip: Look to the male for inspiration.

From my "It's-Now-Okay-to-Mention-Abortion-in-the-Arizona-Legislature" file: Yup, this year the legislature will finally bring back the dreaded word in time to ensure minor girls get parental permission before they can undergo an abortion. This bill will be tagged on to one that will include over a million dollars for teen pregnancy prevention.

Abortion ends pregnancies. They're legal. They combat dangerous pregnancies, which include pregnancies that bring an unwanted child into the world. How many girls under the age of consent who haven't told their parents they're pregnant want to get them to sign the okay for an abortion? The bill stinks, and I don't like it when positive dollars are held hostage to partisan politics.

As to whether I want to know if a child molester is living on my block, I've decided that, yeah, I do want to know. I moved into a neighborhood once and within days a neighbor came over and told me the old guy on the corner was a convicted child molester. Better than a plate of cookies. Now Jeannette Gallagher, head of the Sex Crimes Unit for the Pima County Attorney's Office, says the committee charged with creating guidelines for the Community Safety Act law, passed last year, has completed its work and submitted it for approval. Highlights include a system where ex-convicts will be rated by levels, with each level having a notification requirement. If enough money gets appropriated (legislative hint), neighborhoods will be notified if a molester or rapist in the highest risk category moves into a neighborhood. What constitutes a neighborhood will be left up to the police to determine. The committee hopes this will put people on their guard, says Gallagher. It might even deter one of these creeps from striking again.

Finally, I note the author of the new Abraham Lincoln: From Skeptic to Prophet , suggests that Mary Todd, afraid of spinsterdom, "may have seduced" poor Lincoln and "gotten pregnant." After all, Wayne C. Temple told a reporter, it would have been difficult for her to get a man: "She was a little bit plump. She had no money." I'm surprised Temple didn't suggest that's where Abe got the idea for the Emancipation Proclamation.

I've had a good time grouching in print. Thanks for reading and goodbye, warriors. TW

--Hannah Glasston
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