McCain flip-flops on abortion, buying Britney's hair and more

Suddenly, Sen. John McCain is welcoming the repeal of Roe v. Wade.

By Catherine Price
Published February 20, 2007 10:38PM (EST)

Playboy: The magazine's online store now features an Anna Nicole Smith "tribute" section. How touching -- they're mourning by ... capitalizing on her death to sell more back issues? For an even weirder buying opportunity, a salon in Los Angeles is apparently trying to sell pieces of Britney Spears' hair, since she came into the shop to get her head shaved. (Interested parties can visit

In slightly related news, the Telegraph reports that women can shed unwanted hair by drinking mint tea. A study done in Turkey found that spearmint tea was shown to reduce the amount of free testosterone in women's bodies, resulting in less hair growth. As an interesting side fact, did you know that spearmint's original name, mentha spicata labiatae, has the word "labia" in it? Me neither. Check this out from Wikipedia: "The original family name is Labiatae, so given because the flowers typically have petals fused into an upper lip and a lower lip. Although this is still considered an acceptable alternate name, most botanists now use the name 'Lamiaceae' in referring to this family." (The botanists in question also presumably boycott all plant life that in any way resembles female genitalia, including, but not limited to, 90 percent of flowers.)

Associated Press: Women's desks are germier than men's, according to a new study (commissioned, for what it's worth, by Clorox). Women have three to four times more germs "in, on and around their desks, phones, computers, keyboards, drawers and personal items" than men do, says the report.

AP, again: Here's some depressing political news: John McCain says Roe v. Wade should be overturned. An editorial in the Philadelphia Inquirer points out that this wasn't always McCain's position on abortion: "An AP story dutifully reported the quote -- without providing any of the context. Such as the fact that, in 1999, as he was mounting his first presidential bid, he said this: 'Certainly in the short-term, or even the long-term, I would not support repeal of Roe v. Wade.' Why not? Because without Roe, he said, 'thousands of young American women would be performing illegal and dangerous operations.' Therefore, he said, Roe was 'necessary.'"

Los Angeles Times: The U.S. Justice Department's National Crime Victimization Survey (which is considered to be the best measure of crime because it's anonymous and includes crimes not reported to police) claims that rape has been "falling dramatically" for decades. To quote: "The first survey, in 1973, estimated that 105,000 females, ages 12 to 24, were raped that year. In the 1980s and early 1990s, the survey was expanded to include sexual assault and attempted or threatened offenses. Even so, the latest survey (in a young female population 1 million larger than in 1973) reported that 30,000 females, ages 12 to 24, were raped and 60,000 were victims of attempted rape or real or attempted sexual offenses (including verbal threats) in 2005."

That's still 90,000 too many, but at least there has been some change for the better.

Catherine Price

Catherine Price is an award-winning journalist and author of Vitamania: How Vitamins Revolutionized the Way We Think About Food. Her written and multimedia work has appeared in publications including The Best American Science Writing, The New York Times, Popular Science, O: The Oprah Magazine, the Los Angeles Times, The San Francisco Chronicle, The Washington Post Magazine, Salon, Slate, Men’s Journal, Mother Jones, PARADE, Health Magazine, and Outside. Price lives in Philadelphia.

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Abortion Britney Spears Broadsheet John Mccain R-ariz.