Up to now, while some local options have started to take shape, the Supreme Court has somehow failed to budge on the substance of its 1973 Roe v. Wade decision, and this lack of movement has caused wailing and gnashing of teeth among House Republicans, a substantial number of whom owe their jobs to abortion opponents. In an effort to bypass the Court's intransigence, and with the hope of bipartisan support dancing in their heads, a small House subcommittee has drafted an outline of a new program which will take care of this pesky problem once and for all. While a verbatim transcript would obviously be too long for this column, The Vent is happy to bring you the highlights of this innovative plan.

The United States Department of Pregnancy would be created, and its Secretary would be given Cabinet rank. The Department would assume control over all American citizens of age zero or below. The exact nature of the Department's charter is still being debated, but it is expected to combine the best features of the Selective Service System and the Bureau of Indian Affairs.

Upon reaching menses — typically, age 10 through 13 — a girl would register with the Department through one of its many local offices, and record the date of first menstruation. For the next forty years or so, until a physician certifies that the woman is past childbearing years or, in presumably rare instances, has suffered medical problems which required the termination of the woman's childbearing capacity, the woman will submit to the Department on Form 28 (or 30; the nomenclature has not yet been finalized) her certification that menstruation has taken place on schedule, or will advise the Department that conception has taken place instead. At this time, it is not considered necessary that the woman submit evidence of menstruation, though all Department offices will be fitted for collection and disposal of related biohazardous materials, if at the discretion of the Secretary it is necessary to do so in order to enforce the charter of the Department. (A proposal to cut costs by administering the registration process through the United States Postal Service, as has been done over the years with Selective Service, was blocked by opposition from the various postal unions, which objected to h