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December 08, 1965 - Image 8

Resource type:
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Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1965-12-08

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PAGE TIGHT

THE MICHIGAN DAILY

WEDNESDAY, DECE ]

WR 8, 1965

PAEEGT H IHIA AL WDEDYDC :E ,16

PILLS AT PURDUE, PRUDENCE AT PENN:

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Birth Control Advice

Varies Among Colleges

I

Collegiate Press Service
Since early fall when it was re-
ported that several unmarried
Pembroke Colltge coeds had been
given birth control information by
the Brown University Health Serv-
ice, many campuses have come to
examine-and question-their own
practices with regard to the dis-
tribution of birth control infor-
mation and devices.
The Brown Health Service noted
that each case was examined on
an individual basis. This seems
most often to be the stated policy
of university health services-if
indeed any policy exists at all.
Individual Basis
At Purdue University, Dr. Loyall
W. Combs, director of the stu-
dent health service, said that each
case is handled on a strict "in-
dividual basis."
Dr. Combs said that he regularly
lectures to freshman women about
birth control in a course called
Physical Hygiene. He said that no
stand is advocated since "we re-
alize the moral requirements of
some religions" and that "we just
give these girls a little basic in-
formation." Dr. Combs said that
a number of university coeds come
to the health service for premari-
tal counseling and that these girls
are also given information con-
cerning birth control.
He said that girls planning to

get married are usually told to
begin the use of oral contracep-
tives a month or two before mar-
riage. Dr. Combs explained that
the oral contraceptives are hor-
mones and a certain period of
time is required for the system to
adjust to their use. Because they
are hormones, these pills also are
prescribed by physicians for rea-
sons other than birth control.
Unmarried Students
Unmarried students, therefore,
are sometimes prescribed these
pills for reasons having nothing to
do with birth control, Dr. Combs
said. This dual nature of the drug
is what makes an "individual judg-
ment" on each case necessary,
Dr. Combs said. "These are hor-
mones and should be prescribed
with good judgment," he said. Dr.
Combs emphasized that oral con-
traceptives should not be used in-
discriminately. However, he said
it was not impossible for an un-
married student to get a prescrip-
tion only as a preventive to preg-
nancy.
"It is university policy not to do
this," Dr. Combs said, "but in the
final decision it is a matter be-
tween the physician and the pa-
tient."
The Purdue explanation is a
typical one. Dr. D. W. Cowan,
director of the University of Min-
nesota health service, for example,

said that birth control informa-
tion and prescriptions had been
passed out to Minnesota coeds
"for years" without attracting any
attention.
"Our gynecology clinic offers aid
to coeds up to the limit of its
time," Dr. Cowan explained. "They
usually have time to give advice."
A coed must be married or able
to furnish the date of a planned
marriage and the name of the man
to who she is engaged to receive
the information, Dr. Cowan said.
There is no age requirement, and
the service keeps no record of the
number of coeds who request this
information. "These pills are given
to girls who are about to be mar-
ried in time for them to be effec-
tive," Dr. Cowan said.
As in the case of Purdue, Dr.
Cowan noted that unmarried girls
are sometimes given these pills
for reasons other than birth con-
trol and because of this, "individ-
ual and scientific" attention must
be given each case.
No Information
Some schools do not give out
birth control information at all.
The reasons range from the Uni-
versity of Pennsylvania's that it
has no time to deal with this to
Mt. Holyoke's inability to do so
under a Massachusetts state law
that forbids the distribution of
contraceptive devices or medica-
tion.
At Penn, Dr. Paul F. Schrobe,
director of the health service, said
the service does not believe birth

control is a function of student
health. He added that this policy
has never been formalized but
that "it's just a matter-of common
sense." Schrobe said the Pennsyl-
vania health service is set up only
to provide treatment in "urgent"
cases and is largely an out-
patient clinic. He explains that
administration of oral birth con-
trol pills would prove difficult
since the drug requires "constant
supervision."
He said that "any girl who
comes requesting birth control
pills is directed to a private or
hospital staff gynecologist."
At Mt. Holyoke, officials have
stressed the need for abiding by
the present law. But Dr. -Fred-
erickHinman, a Mt. Holyoke psy-
chiatrist, said he felt the law was
a result of "the fear that making
birth control devices available will
encourage a change of sexual be-
havior." Dr. Hinman said, how-
ever, that "various contraceptive
means have been available for
many years and are currently
available. These do not seem to
have had much influence on in-
dividual behavior or to have re-
duced the number of illegitimate
births.
Other schools report little or no
distribution of birth control in-
formation. Gonzaga University,
like other Roman Catholic schools,
does not distribute any informa-
tion on birth control nor pre-
scribe any birth control devices.
Although the Roman Catholic

Church's prohibition on birth con-
trol has been under attack re-
cently, the Church still takes the
position that God's law forbids
that a man and wife practice
birth control.
Issue Guarded
At the University of Wisconsin
at Milwaukee, officials made a
guarded reply to requests about
their policy of distributing birth
control information. "There is
practically no treatment of the
issue here," they reply, in suggest-
ing that while UWM is not "lib-
eral" with birth control informa-
tion, some is distributed. .
At the University of California's
Riverside campus, Student Health
Director Dr. Frederick Veitch said,
"We use the so-called birth con-
trol pills for strictly medical rea-
sons, and these are few. All re-
quests for the pills as contracep-
tive measures, and for other birth
control devices, are referred to the
student's family physician or some
private doctor."
The University of Utah dean of
students officially stated the
school's policy as "the health
service does not and will not dis-
tribute drugs to its students for
contraceptive purposes. The ad-
ministration does not believe that
an aggressive position in the di-
rection of the use of contraceptives.
is an appropriate educational func-
tion for a public institution."
The Utah administration does,
however, recognize that the pills
can be used "legitimately for the

treatment of certain disorders
which may be associated with
hormone imbalance" and the mat-
ter "becomes a part of the physi-
cian-patient relationship." The
statement concludes that "the uni-
versity respects the physician-
patient relationship and expects,
at the same time, its physicians
recognize the institution's policy."
At the University of California's
Santa Barbara campus, the health
service does not give advice to
students about birth control but
refers them to the local division of
Planned Parenthood Inc. or to
private doctors. A pamphlet rack
has been placed in the health serv-
ice by the Planned Parenthood
chapter in Santa Barbara, and a
health service spokesman said "it
is very popular."
Possible Objections
Dr. Wilfred T. Robbins said the
center did not distribute the in-
formation because he felt some
students or parents might object
on moral grounds.
A student senate resolution at
American University in Washing-
ton, D.C. advocated the "dis-
semination of birth control in-
formation and devices by the uni-
versity health service." The resolu-
tion was sent back to committee
for further study and the student
newspaper, the American Univer-
sity Eagle, disclosed that the in-
formation and devices were "read-
ily available" at the center.

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Council Ends; Pope Lauds Achievements

..By BENNET M. BOLTON
VATICAN CITY (P)-Pope Paul
VI proclaimed the final four de-
crees of the Vatical Ecumenical
Council yesterday, climaxing three
years of work with historic de-
cisions for both the Roman Cath-
olic Church and the cause of
Christian unity.

The council's four final decrees,
last of 16 issued since the council
began in October 1962,. comprise
a declaration favoring religious
liberty, a 36,000-word document on
modern world problems, and dec-
larations on priests and mission-
aries.
Finish Strong
Inan address to the white-clad
bishops while the last votes were
being counted Pope Paul said:
"If quite a few questions raised
during the course of the council
itself still wait appropriate an-
swers, this shows that its labors
are now coming to a close, not out
of weariness but in a state of
vitality.

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"In the post conciliar period
this vitality will apply, God will-

I

ing, its generous and well-reg-
ulated energies to the study of
such questions."
Birth Control Open
Such questions include birth
control and mixed marriage be-
tween Catholics and non-Catholics.
The modern world problems de-
cree upholds traditional Church
teachings against contraceptive
devices, but opens the way for
possible change by the Pope after
a special commission of experts
reports to him.
The Pope, a slender figure in
white at the center of glittering
St. Peter's Basilica, told 2400
bishops that the council's "great
purpose has now been achieved."
The bishops, non-Catholic ob-
servers and scores of representa-
tives from 90 nations applauded
half a minute.
Religious Liberty
The religious liberty decree,
guaranteeing every man the right
to believe according to the dictates
of his consciences, represents the
council's major undertaking in the
interest of Christian unity. Pro-
testant observers at the council
consider it the most important
single document adopted.
The decree provides that every
person has a God-given right to
follow his conscience in religious
belief and to worship openly. It
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says governments cannot restrict
that freedom.
However, it maintains Cathol-
icism's own doctrine that the
Catholic Church is the one Christ
founded and must be embraced by
anyone who recognizes this.
Modern Problems
The modern world problems de-
cree entitled "Pastoral constitu-
tion on the Church in the modern
world," ranges over the social,
cultural and economic aspects of
today's world. It outlines Ca-
tholicism's attitudes on many mat-
ters beyond the Church.
The decree's key sections speak
of nuclear warfare, birth control
and atheism. It says nations can-
not be denied the right to legiti-
mate self defense, while calling
nuclear stockpiling a danger for
the world. It sees hope for pro-
gressive, controlled and guaranteed
disarmament.
Gesture of Unity
In another Christian unity move
the Vatican and the Orthodox
Church erased an 11th century
mutual excommunication.
Pope Paul in St. Peter's and
Orthodox Patriarch Athenagoras
in St. George's Cathedral on Is-
tanbul's Golden Horn, made sim-
ultaneous declarations which re-
moved the excommunications is-
used in 1054. At the time legates
sent by Pope Leo IX to Istanbul
excommunigated the patriarch
there, Michael Caerularius. He re-
acted by declaring the same action
on his excommunicators. The rup-
ture widened from then on.
Pope Paul and the chief dele-
gates and Istanbul Metropolitan
Meliton of Heiopol embraced after
the joint statement was read.
Their gesture brought new
made the statement an official
waves of applause. The Pope then
papal act by phrasing it into an
apostolic brief.
The Pope talked at length about
what he said was Catholicism's
desire to reach out into the world
and bring God to contemporary
man.
After the religious freedom de-
cree and the joint Vatican-Istan-
bul statement, the dramatic close
of the four-hour ceremony was
caught up in the Christian unity
spirit.
The Pope and the bishops recit-
ed the Lord's Prayer aloud to-
gether-and many of the 99 Pro-
testant, Anglican and Orthodox
observers stood and joined in.

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