A few thing that caught my eye. This editor’s desk column will be, as it often is, less a column delving into an issue than mentioning a couple items that came across my desk, but for which there wasn’t room in the paper.

The leftwing website AlterNet.org had a story by Byard Duncan who wrote about “Maggie,” her university friend in Indiana, who at the age of 22 found herself pregnant. Duncan wrote that the question when Maggie shared this information with friends was less “What are you going to do?” than “How are you going to pay for it?”

Maggie “answered that (question) before we had a chance to ask.” She was going to have a party. Duncan explains: “An abortion party. For the price of whatever we were willing to donate, she explained, we could partake of baked goods, beer and dancing.”

Not much to say other than the fundraiser sounds a lot like a celebration

I’m not sure what is more peculiar: having a party to help pay for an abortion or writing about it like it is no big deal.

Here in Canada, Ottawa Citizen editorial page editor Leonard Stern wrote a column about Canada’s low fertility rate, lamenting that it is difficult “to get young liberal westerners to choose parenthood.”

A few days later, Rachel Garrick from Vancouver wrote a letter to the editor, in which she said that unlike “those fecund women in poor countries” she has “hefty student loans” and difficult “landlords who won’t rent to families.” She says that once the state helps with her loans and housing, she still needs government-provided child care because “unlike women in the developing world (we) no longer live in multi-generational households” where the grandparents are live-in baby-sitters.

What a mindset. I don’t know if I am more offended by her idea that the government is there to take care of her or the suggestion that women in the developing world have it comparably easy in relation to mothers struggling with family life on Canada’s west coast.

Lastly, a press release from the Prime Minister’s Office on the occasion of Stephen Harper’s visit with Pope Benedict XVI notes the Prime Minister stated: “I expressed my deep satisfaction for the Holy Father’s moral and humanitarian leadership as an advocate of human dignity, peace and religious liberty…” I can think of no issue on which Benedict’s leadership on human dignity has been more clear than in his advocacy for bringing peace to the womb.