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March 10, 1963 - Image 16

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The Michigan Daily, 1963-03-10
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tween natives and immigrants may be in-
evitable, as the American experience with
immigration suggests.
Nevertheless, some kind of migration
may be plausible as a short-run relief de-
vice for a region's population pressures.
The major drawback is that migration
alone cannot be a long-run solution. Be-
fore long, the empty areas would fill up,
and the world would be faced with the
same old problem, on an even larger scale.
We soon would be faced with a world
completely full, still as hungry as ever;
and there would be no place else to go.
At this point, many turn their eyes up-
ward and suggest that science soon will
open up a limitless universe to us. Why
not send our excess population there? We
could colonize the other planets, even oth-
er solar systems, and solve our population
problem at the same time!
A noble thought-but try to put it
into practice! Assume that by the year
2000 science comes up with the huge nu-
clear engines and spacecraft necessary to
transport enough people and equipment to
establish a "space" civilization. We would
run into all the problems we encounter in
organizing migration on this planet, but
on an immensely greater scale. Now all
we have to do is remove 300,000 people a
day. But even if we could halve the esti-
mated present cost of putting a man on
the moon, $1 million, the daily cost of our
whole project would be 300 billion dollars
--many, many times the whole world's
daily production.
birth rates. Unlike high mortality and
migration, it does not require the cruel
decision that an individual must suffer in
order that society may survive. No one
need be allowed to die or forced from his
homeland. In fact, lower fertility benefits
the individual as well as his society-for
the real tragedy of the population explo-
sion is the Brazilian father of eight, who

ties, be esthetically unobjectionable, not
detract from the pleasures during or fol-
lowing itnercourse, and be morally ac-
At present, no such contraceptive exists,
and considering the importance of the
problem, very little research is being done
one it. Nevertheless, President Frank W.
Notestein of the Population Council pre-
dicts that within ten years there will be
a contraceptive-possibly a vaccine caus-
ing 6-12 month sterile periods-that will
be acceptable to 80-90 per cent of the
world's people.
In the meantime (and we cannot af-
ford to sit back for 10 years), various
methods will have to be used in various
societies-and Westerners should realize
that methods which are unsuited, even
objectionable, to us, such as abortion, may
be the only feasible answer in nations
which desperately need birth control.
But the technical bugaboo is relatively
minor. The major barrier to these sorely-
needed lower birth rates is the problem of
people. Adequate, if imperfect, contracep-
tives exist right now. The problem is get-
ting people to use them.
If anything haunts our future, it is a
voice from the past-a voice from the not-
so-distant days when birth rates were es-
sential to balance high death rates. This
voice proclaims that it is a pleasure-in-
deed, an obligation-to have children-as
many as possible. It speaks through tra-
dition, religion and law, chanting that
sex without children is evil, that child-
lessness is a tragedy of the first magni-
tude, that a man's value is measured by
the number of children he has.
In the underdeveloped nations, the voice
from the past speaks powerfully through
religion and tradition, which in many
cases are so intertwined as to amount to
virtually the same thing.
If traditional society and high fertility
are inseparable, then any policy aimed
at birth control must first achieve social

and unacceptable. It is a dogma laced with
logical and moral inconsistencies. The
simultaneous condemnation of "artificial"
birth-control methods and acceptance-
indeed, advocacy-of artificial "death-
control" medical practices is yet to be ex-
And which is the greater moral wrong:
to violate a ban on contraceptives, a ban
based on a rationale of dubious legiti-
macy; or to deny millions of people the
very thing they need most to lift them
from suffering and despair?
Unfortunately, the most important ef-
fect of the Church's position is not its di-
rect impact on individual Catholics. The
problem is not that individual adherents
have heard the word and obeyed; in fact,
many Catholics have considered the
Church's word and decided to use the
forbidden contraceptive methods anyway,
and many more "obey" only because they
have never learned that such contracep-
tives exist.
Rather, the significant fact is that the
Church is a powerful political force in the
underdeveloped nations with a large Cath-
olic population (i.e. Latin America), and
its influence-direct and indirect-on gov-
ernmental policies has aborted efforts to
initiate the government-sponsored birth-
control programs which are so essential
Thus, it is not the people of Latin
America who have rejected birth control
-they have never had the chance-it is
their leaders, who have never given them
the opportunity to decide one way or an-
THE VOICE from the past is by no
means still in the "modern" nations,
either. In the industrial democracies, the
birth-control issue is a political hot po-
tato, and cautious politicians have almost
unanimously ignored the issue for fear
of an electorally disastrous uproar among
the Catholic populace-or the Catholic

into the world, Vogt writes, "is an act of
the greatest responsibility any human can
incur. Should we not be reasonably confi-
dent before we create life that we can
give the human being a good enough life
so that he will be glad he was born-in
middle and in old age, as well as In
The present "norms" in this country-
unwritten, but followed more faithfully
than most written laws-call for a fam-
ily of about three children. Perhaps it is
time to ask, "Why?" Who is hurt, for
example, if a considerable segment of
our married couples decides to have no
children at all? The women, who would
otherwise be chained to the stove? The
unborn, nongexistent children who, if they
were born, will crowd the world to the
point where they will not want to live in
it? The world, which needs more people
like it needs atomic war?
harped on the individual's obligation,
upon marrying, to become a parent. How
about the obligation not to become a par-
ent-or to become a less prolific parent?
There is some evidence that these
questions are beginning to be raised .1Mi-
nois, over heavy Roman Catholic opposi-
tion, recently joined a handful of other
states who provide contraceptives as part
of" their public-relief policies. And articles
are beginning to appear more frequently
on population and parenthood.
Even more promising is the new posi-
tion of the Kennedy administration,
which asserts that the United States will
"help other countries, upon request, to
find potential sources of information and
assistance on ways and means of dealing
with population problems."
On the other hand, just after the Unit-
ed States voiced this mild commitment,
the United Nations General Assembly
killed a proposal to provide "technical
assistance as requested"-i.e., birth con-


FOUNDED in the winter of 1879 and incorporated in 1881 with
Prof. Henry Simmons Frieze, chairman of the Latin depart-
ment as its first president, the University Musical Society was
created "to maintain a choral society and orchestra, to provide
public concerts, and to organize and maintain a music school of
high standards," Charles A. Sink, president of the Society, states.
For the first 15 years of its existence, the Society concen-
trated its efforts mainly on organizing and sustaining the School
of Music and the Choral Union Chorus which, today, contains
more than 300 singers. The Choral Union Chorus gave occa-
sional concerts and from time to time brought noted soloists and
ensemble groups to Ann Arbor to perform. From four to six con-
certs were given annually.
"History records that in the spring of 1894, under the ener-
getic leadership of Albert A. Stanley, who had succeeded Calvin
B. Cady as musical director in 1888 (Lester McCoy is the present
music director), the first May Festival was inaugurated. It came
as a climax to the Society's activities for the year. For this
event the Boston Festival Orchestra, under the baton of Emil
Mollenhauer, was brought to Ann Arbor for a Festival of three
concerts. In the final concert the Choral Union Chorus, with
professional soloists from New York, joined forces in the pres-
entation of Verdi's "Manzoni" Requiem.
This Festival was the first musical event on so grand a
scale ever to be held in this entire area. It was well patronized
not only by local music lovers, but also by large numbers of
patrons from all over Michigan and the surrounding states.
"Old University Hall, with its capacity of 2500, was jammed to the
doors, and even the corridors were filled with eager music lis-
teners," explained Gail W. Rector, Executive Director.
The Boston Festival Orchestra, with Mr. Mollenhauer, par-
ticipated in the Annual May Festival for the first eleven years.
The Chicago Orchestra, under Frederick Stock, was invited to
take part in the Festival of 1905 and continued to do so for
31 years. Eugene Ormandy and the Philadelphia Orchestra first
performed in the Festival in 1936 and since then the Orchestra
has been heard annually in all six Festival concerts.
This year marks the 50th anniversary of the construction of
.Hill Auditorium. To commemorate this occasion the Society has
commissioned a choral work, "Still Are New Worlds," by the
noted composer Prof. Ross Lee Finney of the University Music
School. This work will be world-premiered by the Choral Union
Chorus with Thor Johnson conducting the Philadelphia Orchestra
at the second May Festival concert.

does not know how he will support his
Once an "excess" individual has been
born, any device for getting "rid" of him
invariably involves some form of personal
tragedy. But if a baby is never born at
all, it certainly makes no difference to him
-he does not exist-and his non-birth
contributes to the well-being of both the
family and the society.
In addition, lowering fertility promises
a permanent solution to the population
problem, not just a means of postponing
its consequences. The futility of perpetual
migration and the insanity of continual
killing are unnecessary.
Another advantage is that the introduc-
tion of birth-control methods entails
much less reorganization of society, much
less radical change, much less dislocation
than any other method of population con-
trol, and certainly the degree of adapta-
tion required is infinitesimal compared
to the complete restructuring of society
that would be needed to support our
foreseen 50 billion people.
Yet, the obstacles to making a low-,
mortality, low-fertility world a reality are
still formidable, and stand as major bar-
riers to man's future.
The initial question is one of method.
There are many ways to prevent a birth.
These include complete sexualabstinence,
periodic abstinence (the "rhythm meth-
od"), sterilization of the male or the fe-
male, various mechanical devices and
spermicides, and "the pill" which, taken
at regular intervals, provides continuous
sterility, but can be abandoned when con-
ception is desired. When a child has been
conceived; abortion though repugnant to
many Westerners, has been an integral
part of Japan's successful population pro-
gram, and- is widely used elsewhere. And
finally, the baby can be killed immediate-
ly after birth, a practice of many primi-
tive societies, which can hardly be called
birth control, but has virtually the same
effect in terms of society.
A BIRTH-CONTROL method, to be ac-
ceptable on a worldwide basis, must
meet many criteria. It must be cheap,
dependable, easy to use and virtually fool-
proof, require no private sanitary facili-
Page Four

change. This could be done by pushing
industrialization, because this will draw
people to the cities, breaking down the
old agrarian family structure and the
high-fertility traditions that go with it.
Only then, this argument says, will the
promotion of contraceptives meet an en-
thusiastic and receptive audience.
The drawback of this procedure, of
course, is that population pressures will
prevent industrialization, and the lack of
industrialization will preclude the birth-
control program which could relieve these
On the other hand, perhaps the tradi-
tions favoring many children are not so
strong as we- imagine. Perhaps the
world's underprivileged are feeling enough
pressure that they would be receptive to
family-planning methods now. If so, the
outlook is much more promising-for all
that is necessary is that the information
and materials be made available, and
adequately and carefully publicized.
THERE SEEMS TO BE a growing feel-
ing in pre-industrial areas that small-
er families might be desirable, but most
people still seem to think that it takes
a lot of babies to insure the survival of
the family. And the few government-
sponsored birth-control efforts in such
areas have met with little success.
Prof. Ronald Freedman of the sociology
department, head of the University's new
Population Studies Center, suggests that
one reason for the failure of such pro-
grams-particularly India's-has been
that their efforts have been spread too
thinly, especially in the rural areas where
high-fertility values are most entrenched.
Prof. Freedman believes that a birth-
control project should be initiated where
things are the easiest: in the cities, where
the less tradition-bound atmosphere is
more receptive to new ideas. If family
planning can become a widespread fact
in the cities, it may eventually spread to
the rural areas.
THE VOICE from the past speaks force-
fully through the Roman Catholic
Church, whose stated position is that all
contraceptive methods except abstinence
are "artificial" and therefore "unnatural"

leaders. Thus in a nation where well over
80 per cent of the couples (and more than
50 per cent of the Catholic couples) use
some sort of family-planning method, the
official government position is that it's
certainly none of the government's busi-
ness. Yet what .is more essential to the
health, education and -welfare of the
world's people than stabilizing our spiral-
ling population?
But we cannot blame governmental
timidity all on the Catholic Church. Un-
til very recently, most organized religions
frowned on the use of contraceptives. Now
most Protestant and Jewish organizations
actively support family limitation-but
the residual Victorian attitudes are still
very much a part of our thinking. America
uses 800 million condoms a year, but ap-
parently it still feels guilty about the fact.
Advertising remains illegal in 30 states
and in the federal mails, and instead of
wiping such archaic laws off the books, we
merely blush discreetly and quietly stop
enforcing them.
The population question has crucial rel-
evance to both of the major political
"ideologies" in America today. It is mak-
ing the conservative's nightmare,the grow-
ing, multi-functional, omni-present and
all-powerful State, a necessary reality. It
is dashing the liberal's dreans of a better
world, and making a mockery of his hu-
manitarian programs. Yet both sides of
the political fence are quiet on the issue!
WE NEED, first of all, the promotion.
and distribution of contraceptive ma-
terial among the 20 per cent of our peo-
ple who still do not practice family plan-
ning. These families, concentrated in the
lower-income brackets, are the people who
can least afford more children; they and
their children are most likely to become
public wards. Our welfare program cer-
tainly would be more effective and eco-
nomical if its policies could avoid bringing
such children into a life of dependency
and despair.
More important for the nation's fu-
ture, once we have the birth rate under
our voluntary control, is to determine the
size of the ideal family. Here we should
consider what Vogt labels "the ethics of
parenthood." To bring a human being

trol materials-to countries seeking help.
And the United States, demonstrating the
limits of its present commitment, abstain-
ed from the vote.
Kennedy's first steps in facing the pop-
ulation problem indicate that our policies
will eventually catch up with reality. But
how long can we wait?
What should be the role of the indus-
trial democracies in bringing birth control
to areas that need it most? What can we
do for the underdeveloped nations in this
First of all, of course, we must want to
do something-our vacillating attitude to-
wards birth control for ourselves and
for others, is the major impediment to a
working, 'ynamic program today.
But assuming that we achieved the
necessary degree of enthusiastic committ-
ment, what sort of policy should ours be?
We must first recognize that we can not
force birth control on anyone. In essence,
all we can do it sit and wait to be asked
for help. But (as any socially successful
coed will tell you) there is a fine art to
"sitting by the phone." We can, if we
wish, do much to encourage such calls.
For example, if a given national leader
expects a positive (or negative) response
if he asks us for birth-control help, this
expectation will be a big factor in en-
couraging (or discouraging) a request
from him.
who wants to modernize his pre-in-
dustrial country but isn'tureally sure just
how to go about it. Such people often
turn to the Western nations, not only for
money, but for advice. If, when they do,
we outline a plan of action that excludes
any sort of population policy, he may well
conclude that the United States doesn't
think such policies are necessary, and
they ought to know!
There is one more technique in the art
of "waiting to be called." Though foreign
aid supposedly is only "helping the
emerging nations do what they want to
do," there is no doubt that we have vari-
ous ways of subtly pushing the projects
we feel are best. These methods could be
applied to promoting birth control,
Concluded on Page Twelve

Charles A. Sink

Gail T


Lester McCoy


SUNDAY, MARCH 10, 1963

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