Kathryn Lopez

You've already heard about the pregnant man. But what about the she-man fish? "Intersex" freshwater fish are all the rage. But unlike the pregnant man, these scaly androgynes didn't ask to take on the sexual characteristics of both genders: humans are doing it to them. (Where's the freedom to choose?!) And the reason these fish are doubling up could make hash of orthodoxies dating back to the sexual revolution.

Estrogen pollution from contraceptive and abortion pills could be the culprit behind these piscine switcheroos. And thus the two holiest of holies for the left may be on a collision course. It promises to be quite the show.

Starting a few years ago, in the Potomac River, male largemouth bass started popping up with eggs in their sex organs. The deformity usually makes reproduction impossible, ultimately hurting the fish population. Many scientists believe the problem could stem from hormones and other pollutants flushed into our nation's waterways from sewage-treatment plants.

In his book "The Really Inconvenient Truths: Seven Environmental Catastrophes Liberals Don't Want You to Know About -- Because They Helped Cause Them" (Regnery, 2008), Iain Murray writes: "Why don't we have more outcries about hormones, and campaigns to save the fish populations? Why aren't environmentalists lobbying on Capitol Hill to keep these chemicals from being dumped into our rivers?" He answers his own question: "Maybe because the source of these chemicals is not some corporate polluter, but something a little more dear to the Left: human birth-control pills, morning-after pills, and abortion pills."

The contraceptive pill has fundamentally changed American life, making sex more casual, morals looser, husbands and wives more distant. Its messed with women's fertility. In short, it has been a game-changer, in some fundamental and not-so-good ways. And because its introduction came 40 years ago, at a time when American culture was enamored with Woodstock, feminism and free love, prescient warnings and cautions -- most notably from Pope Paul VI in his encyclical "Humanae Vitae" in the summer of 1968 -- went unheeded.

But we may soon have reason to regret our embrace of the little white pill. For the first time, mainstream culture and the left may be forced to take a look at the side effects of oral contraceptives. Never mind the women, of course. Never mind the men and children affected in various emotional and other ways. The fish! Have mercy on the fish!


Kathryn Lopez

Kathryn Jean Lopez, editor of National Review Online, writes a weekly column of conservative political and social commentary for Newspaper Enterprise Association.