On Sunday, May 31, a man walked into a Wichita Lutheran church and shot Dr. George Tiller to death in front of his wife. The man accused, Scott Roeder, had been following Dr. Tiller, attempting to vandalize his clinic and appearing at Tiller’s misdemeanor trial earlier in the year.

Wrath of Angels: The American Aborition War by Jim Risen and Judy Thomas. 416 pages. Basic Books.

George Tiller had long been a favorite target of extremist pro-life groups such as Operation Rescue, as he was one of the only doctors in the United States who would perform late-term abortions. Most of his clients were women whose fetuses had severe birth defects, but he was labeled one of the worst offenders of the war on the unborn by groups including Operation Rescue and the Army of God.

Recently there had been… More…

The instructions are clear: After having sex, the man is to stay in bed while the woman should get up and run in a circle around the room three times and complete 10 deep knee bends after each lap. It apparently does not matter if the woman runs clockwise or counterclockwise, but running swiftly in a circle and breaking to do knee bends was, as late as 1928, prescribed as a form of birth control.

So was Coca-Cola. Rumored to be a spermicide as well as a refreshing beverage, it seems to have been frequently used as some sort of post-coital cleanser.

So there’s the deep-knee bends and the Coke trick as contraceptive folly. Add to that some anti-baby lipstick, pumps, sprays, clamps, one-quarter-inch thick condoms made from fish bladders, and a dizzying number of spiral intrauterine devices (that look oddly beautiful, fragile, and delicate, laid out in uniformed rows),… More…