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January 08, 1966 - Image 4

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1966-01-08

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Seventy-Sixth Year

Where pinioSwAn e Free 420 MAYNARD ST., ANN ARBOR, MICH.

Niws PHONE: 764-0552

Editorials printed in The Michigan Daily express the individual opinions of staff writers
or the editors. This must be noted in all reprints.

All States Must
Legalize Abortion

the United States and the rest of the
world is currently undergoing has caused
an upswing of public and professional in-
terest in methods of population and birth
control. The changing attitudes of re-
ligious institutions, the development of
increasingly sophisticated methods of
contraception, and the concern of so-
ciologists, psychologists and economists
about the effects of overpopulation have
all but obscured from popular attention
and consideration the present reprehen-
sible status of a long-tabooed area of sex-
ual legislation: the wilfully induced, ter-
mination of pregnancy-abortion.
In the U.S. today, abortion is effec-
tively prohibited in every state, and per-
mitted in only six states under extenuat-
ing situations when the life of the moth-
er may be endangered if the pregnancy
is allowed to continue its natural out-
Yet there is presently such a strong
dichotomy between the prohibitions of
the legal, moral, and religious codes and
the actual social practices in the U.S. to-
day-as pointedly underscored by the In-
diana Institute for Sex Research's report,
"Pregnancy, Birth and Abortion"-as to
raise serious questions about the merit
of retaining these undesirable laws.
The Institute for Sex Research, found-
ed by the late Alfred Kinsey for the
study of human sex behavior, made its
study on the reproductive consequences
of sex behavior in 1958. While the statis-
tics would probably be altered somewhat
today by the passage of time, the essen-
tial picture of the large proportion of
pregnant married and single women hav-
ing illegal abortions has probably altered
little; indeed, there is reason to believe
that the number of illegal abortions has
increased to as many as 1.5 million a
In 1964, 259,400 illegitimate births were
reported in the U.S. The Kinsey report
found that 89 per cent of the women who
had terminated a pregnancy while un-
married did so by illegal abortion. Among
married women, 20-25 per cent had ille-
gal abortions at some time in their life.
THERE IS A CLEAR correlation between
educational background and abortion,
but surprisingly it is the woman with
education beyond the high school level
who is most likely to seek a resolution of
her pregnancy pn the abortionist's table.
The report states:
"As a rule induced abortion is strongly
connected with status-striving. Abortion
is practiced to preserve reputations, to
provide much for a few children rather
than little for many children, to main-
tain or raise a level of living, and the
like. These motives are weak or even
absent in the people of the lowest social
stratum, and one often has the impres-
sion that they are passive, resigned, and
prone to follow the path of least effort.
After all, obtaining an illegal abortion
requires considerable courage and initia-
tive as well as money."
Statistical abstracts tell only part of
the story. The inhuman aspect of num-
bers tends to gloss over the individual
distress and misfortune that shows up on
statistics. The trauma and sickness re-
sulting from a bungled operation by un-
skilled persons; the hasty marriages made
because of youth's mistakes and broken
up because of incompatibility; unwanted
and unloved children becoming a liabil-
ity to themselves and society; the twist-
ing of values in a society which encour-
ages heterosexual attractions, then frus-
trates these drives by demanding absolute
continence before marriage-these are
the human heartbreaks behind the overly

stringent sex and abortion laws.
The 19th annual clinical convention of
the American Medical Association con-
cluded in December with a postponement
of action on a report by its Committee
on Human Reproduction which argued
the loosening of state laws banning or
restricting abortion in 44 states.
"Enacting-laws to integrate the medi-
cai aspects with the moral, ethical, re-
ligious and economic social tradition is
clearly the exclusive prerogative and re-
sponsibility of each separate state," was
cited as reason. A five-man reference
committee concluded that it was "not
appropriate at this time for the AMA to

larly allowing for legally induced ter-
mination of pregnancy when there is sub-
stantial risk to the mental and physical
health of the mother or unborn child,
or when the pregnancy had resulted from
"statutory or forceable rape or incest."
The argument that physicians should
operate under a uniform 'legal code
throughout all 50 states was countered by
the opponents: "(This) would tend to
weaken the authority of a state board of
medical examiners and compound its
problem in administering the medical
practice laws of its own state."
Social legislation has a notorious repu-
tation in the U.S. for being enacted con-
siderably behind the time its need was
first recognized. The AMA, by refusing
to take a 'positive stand on the abortion
issue, has only helped perpetuate an in-
creasing social and individual anomaly.
Although enactment of laws is strict-
ly the "prerogative and responsibility"
of each state, the prestige and influence
of the AMA would surely hasten serious
consideration and action in this area.
are discriminatory upon the individ-
uals right to privacy by implying that
pre-marital pregnancies, accidental fail-
ure of contraceptive devices, and eco-
nomic burdens of unplanned parenthood
are penalties for not conforming to a
particular pattern of sexual and pro-
creative activity.
The laws are generally unheeded by
transgressors and highly unenforced be-
cause the poly-cultural character of this
country contains a range of sexual be-
havior patterns which conflict disastrous-
ly with the laws' basic contradiction of
human nature. Unlike such areas as theft
and physical injury, the decision by a
pregnant woman that she must termi-
nate her pregnancy for any one of a
number of personal reasons, the "moral-
ity" of ,the individual act affects the so-
ciety hardly at all.
Many religious and legal codes have
long held abortion to be homicide. Yet
there is a transcendant morality of life
that is supported by the Western tradi-
tion of the worth of the individual and
the inalienable right of the individual to
follow his conscience.
Which is more important-the undevel-
oped, unknown embryonic life or the ex-
isting personality and unique psychology
of the mother who may be disastrously
scarred by a regrettable but irremediable
experience? This question of value is un-
answerable; a pregnant woman may be
psychologically scarred by an abortion
experience as by a birth out of wedlock.
ONLY HER MATERNAL attitude to-
wards the fetus she is carrying and
nourishing with her body will tell the in-
dividual woman whether or not she values
the unborn infant above her own life and
Under most circumstances a woman's
maternal instinct makes her rejoice in
the process of birth and child-rearing.
However, in most cases where a woman
has been impregnanted under circum-
stances where she feels physically, men-
tally, economically, socially or psycholog-
ically incapable of going through with
the pregnancy, she will find that she is
unable to terminate the pregnancy ex-
cept through illegal channels.
The number of women that annually
seek out abortionists, the physicians of
great integrity who risk imprisonment
to perform these illegal operations, and
the general unenforcement of the laws
are an indication that society's legal and
moral prohibitions against the termina-
tion of pre-natal life are not strong

enough to overcome the social disad-
vantages of the unwanted child.
Although many women have illegal
abortions without adverse physical or so-
cial aftereffects, the situation is unde-
sirable if a single person suffers while
others escape the penalties of a sexual
code which advocates one thing and
grudgingly, clandestinely permits the op-
STRICT ENFORCEMENT of the abortion
laws is not the solution. An atmos-
phere of freedom is needed in which
those who so desire can make their own
solutions to personal problems without

t l
- 1
- ~
7 L
FightingPovertyo{r the Poor?
k Ye bit f a 0 0 .

munist China are currently
engaged in a behind-the-scenes
power struggle for Southeast Asia
-and for the control of the world-
wide communist movement. North
Viet Nam is in the Center of the
struggle-and the future course
of the Viet Nam war depends on
the outcome of the clash.
Nearly all of Russia's top gov-
ernment officials are now out of
the country on urgent, top-secret
diplomatic missions. Yesterday,
Soviet Premier Alexei Kosygin
continued efforts in Tashkent to
win a nonaggression pact from
the leaders of India and Pakistan;
Communist party chief Leonid
Brezhnev left with a top-level
coterie of aides on a surprise mis-
sion to Mongolia-a buffer state
between Russia and Communist
China. And the No. 3 man in the
Kremlin, Alexander Shelepin, ar-
rived in-Hanoi on a mission which,
according to varying diplomatic
interpretation, may result in more
pressure on Hanoi to accept Unit-
ed States peace proposals or an
announcement of increased Rus-
sian military aid to the North
Meanwhile, in the midst of this
furious diplomatic activity within
the Communist world, President
Johnson's well-publicized but evi-
dently sincere peace offensive con-
tinues in high gear, and is slated
to wind up ten days from now.
The pause in the bombing of
North Viet Nam, now in its fif-
teenth day, also shows no sign
of ending.
There is little likelihood that
the administration would decide
to resume bombing while Shele-
pin is in Hanoi-and Senate Ma-
jority Leader Mike Mansfield of
Montana indicated yesterday after
talks with President Johnson that
the bombing lull may last at least
until after the Vietnamese New
Year truce from Jan. 20-24.
unabated, however, with little
sign of a significant slowdown.
And Hanoi's public responses to
the U.S. peace gestures have been
largely negative so far. One sig-
nificant factor which has been
noted, however, is that President
Ho Chi Minh has failed to repeat
in recent statements the Hanoi
position that any future Saigon
government must adopt the pro-
gram of the National Liberation
Front (the Viet Cong) after peace
negotiations conclude. This point,
along with Hanoi's insistence that
the Viet Cong be recognized as an
independent agent at the confer-
ence table, has been the major
stumbling block to negotiations so
If Hanoi drops its precondition
that the Viet Cong program must
be the dominant one for South
Viet Nam, and if Washington
agrees to allow the Viet Cong to
participate on their own in peace
talks, not as part of a North
Vietnamese delegation, the foun-
dation for preliminary negotia-
tions betweenathe U.S.and North
Viet Nam may have been con-
structed. Hanoi apparently still
mistrusts U.S. intentions, and is
wary of the entire negotiation
process since it feels that it was

cheated at the last major negotia-
tion effort, the 1954 Geneva Con-
vention, because the U.S. and
South Viet Nam refused to hold
free nationwide elections in 1956
as the agreements had stipulated.
However, the road to negotia-
tions is paved with obstructions
primarily the increasingly vitriolic
Sino-Soviet dispute, which has
moved out of the purely ideologi-
cal realm and now has political.
economic and even military rami-
fications. This sudden Brezhnev
mission to Mongolia indicates a
possible approaching showdown
between the two Communist su-
In the past, Mongolia has served
as the scene of a power struggle
between Russia and China, in
which the Soviets have usually
held the upper hand. Moscow may
be attempting to shore up its
position there in preparation for
the 23rd Communist Party Con-
gress in Moscow two months from
now-the possible scene of a poli-
tical showdown, with Russia at-
tempting to capture influence
from the Chinese among Eastern
and Southeast Asian states.
THE TOP PRIZE in this power
contest is, of course, North Viet
Nam, where until recently, Chinese
power has prevailed. However,
Soviet influence is now on the rise
in Hanoi.
If Moscow can succeed in exert-
ing dominant influence over Ho
Chi Minh, the chances for peace
in Viet Nam brighten consider-
ably, since it is in the Russians'
interest to end the fighting so
that they can concentrate on do-
mesticheconomic problems. Once
again, as in the India-Pakistan
war last fall, the Soviet Union and
the U.S. may find it in their
common interest to work together
behind the scenes-for peace.
Moscow's public statements may
continue to be harsh, in order to
forestall further Chinese criticism
for alleged collaboration with the
West on a peace settlement for
Viet Nam. But secret diplomatic
moves are in the offing which
suggest that an end to hostilities
on the battlefields and a tentative
beginning of negotiations may be
closer than anyone thought pos-
sible one month, ago.
Real Threat
Is Domestic
IT IS INHERENT in the nature
of democracy that the people
can emasculate or destroyt. The
people themselves can interfere
with the right of minorities
"peaceably to assemble and pe-
tition the government for a, re-
dress of grievances": . . they can
mete out private punishment for
personal beliefs and acts of con-
science which run counter to cur-
rent political frenzies. Abuses of
this kind are not new '. But
two World Wars have increased
the danger, and the endless cold
War, one of whose pretexts is that
democracy is menaced from
abroad, actually threatens it at


Recent Soviet Moves
May Help End War


"THE ONLY place Shriver's
povertytprogram could ever
work is in the bottom of Grand
Canyon in the off season."
Saul Alinsky has done some-
thing the Great Society's War on
Poverty has not succeeded, and
does not seem likely to succeed,
in doing-organizing the poor to
the point where they can at least
start to cope with their own very
real problems.
But the Great Society is mak-
ing a very loud attempt at taking
the economically unfortunate in
our country to a level of affluence
consistent with our present stand-
ard of national living.
In the implementation of any
aid program of any scale, one
must expect expensive problems
to arise at the administrative
level. There are committees to
organize, manpower to hire, direc-
tors to corner and train. This is
a fact of bureaucratic life, and is
accounted for in all aid budgets.
What has not been accounted,
however, for in the War's own
budget is the transformationof
the program from a bonda fide
the program from a bona fide
effort at solving a problem into
wh'at Alinsky has termed "a
plum." "The money comesdown
from the federal government to
the local level. Immediately the
local politicians plan their own
program, put in their own people."
This, of course, leaves the local
social workers out of the picture,
also leaving none too happy.
SO A STRUGGLE begins, time
is wasted, the program loses di-
rection and dignity. Pretty soon
the labor unions and civil rights
organizations begin to feel left
out. All want positions, all want
a say in how the program is run.
So now that the money has f in-
ally filtered down from the "Big
Bureaucracy" in Washington (af-
ter waiting so many painful years
to be voted on in the first place),
any effect it may have is thor-
oughly killed on the local level.
One thing that becomes all too
obvious is that the program, by
its very complexion, was bound to
fail-and fail miserably from the
start. An officer of the Ohio Of-
fice of Economic Opportunity ex-
plained, "We've tried to work the
poor themselves into the planning,
but it just hasn't worked out.
These people just don'trhave the
capacity for running their own
Fine! Wonderful! Excellent! So
we let the bureaucrats do it and
it never gets done, and we watch
the offerring from "the Establish-
ment" flow down the drain. But
if, instead ofhwriting off the ca-
pacities of the poor the upper
classes just once let them run
their own affairs, with financial
help from above, instead of accept-
ing their tacit presence as being
sufficient participation, then per-
haps the poor would get some-
where. The man who complains
the poor are incapable of helping
themselves either fails to realize
or does not want to recognize that
until the poor are capable of or-
ganizing their own programs, eco-
nomic aid is going to be slow and
,'ncfforn'no 4'in PAinff the nA. Cl 'c

Just how much does the afflu-
ent society care about the lower
classes it sits upon? How great
can the War on Poverty be if
administrators a n d politicians
would rather fight over it than
administrate it? And how sincere
can an administration be if it
uses so much political pull td push
through a program which has
proven to be so ill-planned and
so obviously ineffectual and even
irrelevant? Does it really care?
In initiating the War on Pov-
erty, the Democrats have bought
a great many votes. But have the
poor gotten anything substantial
in return for the power their votes
have purchased?
AT THE VERY least they've
gotten the short end of the bar-
gain. Furthermore, they've failed
even to tap the strength of their
power. Finding strength in num-
bers, Alinsky has organized the
poor and helped them create their
own community power structures
in Rochester, Detroit and Chicago,
among other places. By organiz-
ing, the disorganized poor are
placed in a situation where there
is a real reason for learning a real
road to power and a real outlet
for improvement,
The middle class society must
soon realize that buying off its
rather shallow conscience with

equally shallow panaceas may not
be enough to hold off the poor.
"We will organize to get power
and move into the power structure
through sheer numbers."
The War on Poverty is ineffec-
tive because the people who are
sponsoring it can afford to sub-
stitute money for conscience, and
thus obviously don't really care
too much about what happens to
the poor-whether they suffer or
enjoy; live or die. A little money
is not enough to wallpaper the
contrast of the affluent society
with the hovel next door.
If the poverty program blows
up, as it deserves to, then we may
soon see a real slowing down of
political attempts at social reform.
With the end of these programs,
the same Detroit Negroes who
satirically dressed in loin cloths
to greet domestic Peace Corps
workers may soon be taking to
the streets as their fellow poor
did in Watts. The power of such
frustration could well fall to the
leadership of radicals interested
in overcoming the power im-
balance of economic inequality.
PERHAPS THIS would provide'
the substitute for a morality that
is supposed to teach those who
"have" to care for those who
"have not."-

Peace Discussion,' Feelers Must Continue

which lies so heavily upon the
scene there may be discernible a
certainhamount of movement
which holds some promise.
T here is no certainty about it.
But, remembering Joseph Kraft's
well-informed observation that
communications between Hanoi
and Washington are clogged and
slow, I think that the public re-
action of Hanoi to the President's
peace campaign, which is just be-
ginning to show above the surface
may at least indicate what the
President might do next.
There are no indications that
Hanoi will suddenly announce that
it is ready for a peace conference.
Nor is there any indication that
Hanoi will withdraw its troops in
the South or suspend the infil-
tration of more troops.
We must expect that the Viet
Cong strength in the South will
be maintained by Hanoi in a ratio
suitable to , successful guerrilla
warfare. There may be a certain
reduction in tempo of violence, at
least while the pause in the bomb-
ing continues. But there is no-
thing in the public record to in-
dicate that a peace conference or
a de facto truce is in sight.
WHAT SEEMS to be in sight is
a period of diplomatic exchanges,
carried on publicly at arm's
length, carried on privately
through intermediaries and mask-
ed by bellicose rhetoric to appease
and put off the opponents of a
negotiated truce.
The most interesting evidence

a 11(1
cow and Washington. But through
the ambiguity the commentary
can be read as a challenge to the
President to prove that he does
not mean what Hanoi thinks he
means on two cardinal points.
The commentary challenges him
to disprove that he means to es-
tablish "a new-type colony and
military base of the United States
and perpetuating the partition of
Viet Nam." He is asked to prove,
second, that he is not asking "the
Viet Cong-South Vietnamese lib-
eration forces-to lay down their
arms . . . and be placed under the
rule of the Saigon regime."
well, I believe, to look beyond the
angry language of the past and
to proceed with the "discussion"
of war aims and peace terms,
which he has been offering since
his Baltimore speech last April.
He can assume that what Gold-
berg described as "discussions or
negotiations without any prior
conditions whatsoever" have ac-
tually started, not yet in the form
of a conference, but at long dis-
tance and, in part at least, pub-
If that is where we are, then
the ime nc.hasco'mp to proceedr m

basic issues uncertain, further of-
ficial definition of our war aims
is called for.
I do not know whether the ad-
ministration can agree within it-
self on such a definition of its war
aims. But I think I dorknow that
such a definition of our war aims
on the two cardinal points is now
indispensable to the maintenance
of confidence at home and abroad.
WHATEVER the first response
in Hanoi, the act of clarifying
and defining our aims is a neces-
sary part of the effort to move
the war "from the battlefield to
the conference table." Even if we
assume, as we had better do, that
Hanoi will reply scornfully; the
nub of the matter is that it should.
reply and thus find itself in a
discussion about the shape of'
things to come.
It has often been said in Wash-
ington during the past year that

we are listening, with our anten-
nae well polished, for some re-
sponse from Hanoi and that we
have never had any response.
This official stance, that it takes
two to discuss anything, over-
looks the fact that a great power
like the U.S. with its world-wide
connections can force discussions
by beginning the discussions and
making it increasingly impossible
for the other party to break them
of f.
seriously to have discussions he
has made a good beginning with
the Goldberg letter. If he per-
severes he will not go very long
unanswered. Indeed, judging by
the first reactions of Hanoi to
the current peace campaign, there
are reasons for thinking that the
public discussions have begun, and
the task now is to continue them.
'(c),1965, The Washington Post Co.

Reagan and His Cabinet:
A Star-Studded Cast

SPECULATION has already
reached fever pitch concerning
Ronald Reagan's probable cabinet
selections when elected President
of the United States in '72.
Few second guessers are willing
to predict who will get the Sec-
retary of Defense's job. Audie
Murphy seems to be the best

dashed when the candidate learn-
ed that Ponti was not an Ameri-
can citizen. His recent public
statement concerning Liz Taylor
in which he pointed out that "that
woman has been in commerce
since puberty," has many Wash-
ington experts to predict that
she'll get the commerce job.


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