THE CONSERVATIVE WAR ON CONTRACEPTION….Here’s the latest front in the conservative war on contraception: a proposed regulation that would strip federal funding from any healthcare organization that doesn’t allow workers to opt out of providing abortion services to patients. This wouldn’t have a big impact on actual abortions, of course, since anyone who’s pro-life wouldn’t work for an abortion clinic in the first place. However, the new regs define abortion so broadly that it covers “any of the various procedures — including the prescription, dispensing and administration of any drug or the performance of any procedure or any other action — that results in the termination of life of a human being in utero between conception and natural birth, whether before or after implantation.”

In other words, birth-control pills, IUDs, Plan B emergency contraceptives, and God only knows what else. “As soon as you have a definition in one part of federal law,” says R. Alta Charo, a lawyer and bioethicist at the University of Wisconsin at Madison, “it can become the inspiration for the reinterpretation of other statutes.” Which is, I’m sure, the whole point. This is just the initial skirmish.