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Rosie O'Donnell, stillborn birth certificates and one mother's expensive summer vacation.

By Sarah Karnasiewicz
Published July 17, 2007 9:15PM (EDT)

Rosie O'Donnell, radical hero? In the years since leaving her Emmy Award-winning talk show, Rosie O'Donnell has become the "most visible lesbian in the country" and single-handedly opened up daytime television to candid dissent, writes Kera Bolonik in the Nation. But until she stops cracking Chinamen jokes and cleaving to 9/11 conspiracy theories, says Bolonik, she won't be the public critic the left needs.

"Fetal personhood" and abortion rights: An Arizona woman has "mounted a grassroots campaign ... to get the government to give parents who deliver stillborn fetuses the option of receiving a 'certificate for stillborn birth'" -- but abortion rights advocates fear those efforts "could aid anti-choice groups as they attempt to chip away at or eliminate abortion rights," reports Allison Stevens in the American Prospect.

The $16,000 summer vacation: On the Huffington Post, writer Stephanie Losee, who is paying $1,390 a week in childcare so that she can work while her three children are on summer vacation, makes a case for revising the academic calendar.

The "smoke and mirror science" of gender testing: USA Today reports that a new crop of mail-order blood and urine tests, including one called "Tell Me Pink or Blue," promise expectant mothers answers about the gender of their children just eight weeks into pregnancy.

Sarah Karnasiewicz

Sarah Karnasiewicz is a freelance writer and photographer based in Brooklyn, N.Y. Until recently, she was senior editor at Saveur magazine; prior to that she was deputy Life editor at Salon. She has contributed to the New York Times, the New York Observer and Rolling Stone, among other publications. For more of her work, visit thefastertimes.com/streetfood and Signs and Wonders.

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