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September 19, 1978 - Image 4

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The Michigan Daily, 1978-09-19

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age 4--Tuesday, September 19, 1978--The Michigan Daily

Eighty-Nine Years of Editorial Freedom
Vol. LIX, No. 11 News Phone: 764-0552
Edited and managed by students at the University of Michigan

Scientific rhythm: new
possibilities for birth control

A tricycle extravaganza?
Not with MSA money.

OW MUCH do you think a tricycle
race is worth? Is it worth not
aving a legal aid service or an office
f religion and ethics?
Apparently Vice President for
tudent Services Henry Johnson and
is assistant Thomas Easthope think
o. They have agreed to fund Fall
estival '78-featuring the first annual
Jniversity Tricycle Race, and
'icluding a giant pyramid building
-ontest, egg-throwing contests, and
iggyback races-with $2,000 from the
)ffice of. Student Services (OSS)
offers. Last spring, OSS completely
vithdrew its funding from the Campus
'egal Aid service, thus necessitating
Ln additional student fee to fund that
ervice. OSS also cut back its support
>f the Office of Ethics and
Religion.
The festival is designed to bring
tudents, particularly freshpersons
ogether - an obviously worthwhile
;oal. However, OSS has an allocation
)udget of approximately $50,000, and
:o spend four per cent of iton a tricycle
'ace, when WCBN needs a power
ncrease in order to continue

broadcasting, when Campus Legal Aid
is forced to ask the already
overextended students for money, and
when the Office of Ethics and
Religion's worthwhile activities have
been seriously hampered, seems to us
more than extravagant.
Certainly the issue is one of
priorities. We're not opposed to
bringing students together, and the
Fall Festival may well be an adequate
means to that end. It just doesn't make
sense to fund such an endeavor so
lavishly while other, more important
projects are reduced to begging for
financial support. Perhaps $100 or $200
would be a reasonable sum for OSS to
give, but $2000 is definitely out of line.
More unbelievable still is the total
budget of the festival-some $8000!
UAC and President Fleming's office
have already promised more than
$3000, and MSA is considering a $500
gift at its weekly meeting tonight. This
festival is already being funded far
beyond its usefulness. We strongly
urge MSA not to add to the
extravagance.

Every morning, San Francisco medical
student Anne Carlyle, 25, takes her
_ temperature, performs a vaginal
examination and records her findings on a
chart and mentions them to her husband. This
simple routine is how Carlyle practices birth
control. She uses the "fertility awareness"
method, a modernized rhythm system that
enables women to identify accurately their
fertile days each month by examining their
cervical mucous.
"I've used pills, condoms, a diaphragm -
and prayer," says Carlyle, who has relied on
fertility awareness for a year. "We still use a
condom or diaphragm when I'm fertil, but
when I'm not, there's no need to use anything.
Every birth control method causes some
hassle. Why use one if you don't have to?"
Fertility awareness and traditional rhyth~m
both attempt to identify a woman's fertile
days, the week to 10 days each month around
the time she releases an egg, or ovulates.
The key difference between the two
methods is that to practice traditional
rhythm, a woman pays attention to the
calendar. To practice fertility awareness, she
pays attention to her body.
"Fertility awareness teaches women to
communicate with their bodies directly,"
says Karen Faire-Hammond, a consultant to
the U.S. Department of Health, Education
and Welfare in California. "The body clearly
announces its fertile time each month if a
woman is trained to recognize the signals."
Faire-Hammond, who has used the method
herself for five years and has taught it for two
years, says that calendars are unreliable
fertility indicators. Traditional rhythm, she
explains, assumes that women ovulate
regularly; but very few women actually do.
And the menstrual cycles of those women who
do ovulate regularly can shift unexpectedly
when they travel, get sick or suffer emotional
stress.
Studies to date indicate that fertility
awareness works as well as other birth
control methods, says Faire-Hammond. A
five-country study of 2,000 couples in 1975, by
Dr. Claude Lanctot at Fairfield University,
showed the method to be up to 98 per cent
effective.
And fertility awareness is "more than just a
method for preventing conception," says
Deborah Rogow, a health educator who

By Michael Castleman
teaches fertility awareness for the San
Francisco Health Department. "It can help
couples who want to conceive a child by
pinpointing the fertile days."
The National Institutes of Health is now
testing the effectiveness of fertility
awareness at Cedar-Sinai Hospital in Los
Angeles. Results are expected next year.
Fertility awareness experts caution that
women should take courses in the method
before attempting to classify their mucous,
since individual women have different
mucous cycles.
"It takes some time to learn," says Rogow,
"but it becomes like second nature, like
-driving a car."~
Women can identify ovulation by studying
their temperature every morning.
Temperature rises noticeably during
ovulation, and the cervix undergoes cyclic
changes as well. It opens, softens and lifts
away from the vagina around the time of
ovulation, then closes, hardens and drops
back into the vagina when the woman is no
longer fertile.
Rogow's course in fertility awareness
meets three hours every other week for three
sessions. A dozen women attend each course,
and many bring husbands or boyfriends.
Rogow says she explains the physiological
basis for fertility awareness and discusses
each woman's chart with her individually.
She advises that a woman chart her mucous,
temperature and cervix size for several
months before relying on fertility awareness
for contraception.
"Many women say: 'This is so simple, why
didn't anyone tell us before?' " Rogow says.
One reason, she contends, is that "drug
companies have supported most
contraceptive research.Theirfinancial
interest lay in developing pills and IUDS.
They haven't supported fertility awareness
research because it allows women to rely on
themselves, instead of on a drug company
product. When women who have had bad
experiences with pills anid IUDs realize this,
they get very angry."~
Rogow says men who attended her classes
have been enthusiastic about the experience.

"I'm really glad I learned it," says
Carlyle's 28-year-old husband, a graduate
student at the University of California-
Berkeley. "I used to be in the dark about birth
control and Anne's fertility. Now I just look at
the chart. Our contraception is more outAn
the open, more integrated into our lives.
The initial impetus behind fertility
awareness came from Roman Catholics,
because rhythm is the only contraceptive
method the Church allows. Drs. John and
Evelyn Billings, an Australian Catholic
husband-and-wife team, correlated the
cervical mucous cycle with fertility 20 years
ago, when fertility research here focused on
developing the pill and IUD.
The late Pope Paul VI renewed his
predecessors' ban of all contraceptive
devices in 1968 when many believed the
Church's position should be modified.A 1976
survey of American Catholics attributed
steep declines in church attendance and
financial support to the ruling against birth
control.
Before he died, Pope Paul endorsed efforts
to improve the rhythm, method. He said
technical solutions to human problems had
achieved "deceptive results," an apparent
reference to the health hazards associated
with the pill and IUD.
Many Catholic agencies now teachsthe
"Billings method," Faire-Hammond says,
which relies solely on mucous identification
and stresses abstinence on fertile days. The
secular fertility awareness method adds
temperature and cervix size to mucous
identification and counsels couples to choose
among abstinence, condoms, foam or
diaphragm on fertile days, she says.
HEW plans to award a one-year $100,000
contract for a fact-finding mission to study
who teaches fertility awareness in the United
States, how and to whom. HEW sources said
an unexpectedly large number of bids have
been submitted for this contract, many by
Catholic agencies.
"Fertility awareness is the hottest thing
happening in birth control," Rogow says.
e
Michael Castleman is a contributing
editor to Medical Self-Care magazine. He
wrote this article for Pacific News
Service.

Open meetings essential
to participatory democracy

T HARDLY needs saying that citi-
zenship participation, is essential
to fair government, especially at local
levels.
That is the reason visiting Circuit
Court Judge Gene Schnelz's decision
last week to ban closed meetings by a
majority of a city council body was so
imperative.
The Ann Arbor case revolved around
a private caucus meeting held by the
seven Republican Councilmembers
last May. At the session, they
discussed $328,000 of changes to the
city budget.
Though Republican Mayor Pro-Tem
Gerald Bell (Fifth Ward) still claims
no decisions were made st the meeting,
the very next morning the Republicans
held a press conference to announce
their proposed amendments. And later
that night, in the City Council
chambers, all seven Republicans
joined one of the four Council
Democrats, Earl Greene, to officially
enact the changes.
In making the ruling, Judge Schnelz
declared that the May 23 meeting is
" clearly ... in violation of"
Michigan's Open Meetings Act, saying
"the public was deprived of the
decision making process" for the
budget. He voided all the amendments
including the controversial $55,000 cut
to the forestry department and an
extra $225,000 which was put into street
repair.
The Republicans argue that they
could not enact legislation that night,

and thus, their gathering did not
constitute a meeting covered by the
act.
But, because their seven member
caucus is a majority of City Council,
any decisions they may reach in
private can be enacted into law without
real pubic input.
What the public really- lost in this
case was the right to hear how the city
budget was compiled. The $55,000 cut
to the forestry department, for
example, meant the loss of several
.jobs, but no sincere attempt was made
to let them plead their case before City
Council.
It's true that public hearings were
held the night the budget was voted on,
but the 'slash to the forestry
department had been a complete
surprise to many people involved.
One problem with the ruling, the
Republicans argue, is that now every
time they want to get together,
say for a social gathering, they
must abide ,by the Open Meetings
Act and invite the public.
Their argument, however, is faulty.
The act covers only meetings where
city business is discussed.
The public is not interested in
interrupting cocktail parties at
Belcher's house, or a softball game in
Bell's back yard.
But the public must be allowed to see
and hear how the decisions which
directly affect them are formed. If the
majority of council are discussing city
business, everyone has a right to be
there:

C1O CHOO you jes0
,cAM SEE dump oAt
M Y E J IT/w *13 FR ID Ci4C.M.0 !
Sld..vtR pLATE/ oIOu, I HS yk~RA v
a RJP .EpEV .
\ -
H Ow long can the Cresce'nt suvMcnWenr.«.~rviv omnhe.n
'-u 0$V*

r I I I

-I

-I

Surrounded by a tax cut-
hysteria and passionate
campaigns for government
austerity, Washington has struck
a mighty blow for elegance,
albeit of a slightly tattered form.
By a squealy four to three vote
the Interstate Commerce
Commission (ICC) ruled that the
Southern Railroad Corp. may not
discontinue the venerable
Southern Crescent, famed for tis
wood paneled mater bedrooms,
rolling showers, and rich
southern cooking served in silver
dishes on linen covered tables.
Despite Southern's claim that it
lost $6.6 million last year
operating the Crescent, the ICC
ordered that the train be
continued for at least one year.
The Crescent is the last long-haul
privately run passenger train in
the U.S., the others are operated
by Amtrak.
This newfound courage on the
part of the ICC to champion the
public's transportation needs
raises a vital question: What
really determines how long a
passenger train shall be
operated? According to the ICC,
c-th- -. int c..ha trai it

ny lraabvll vv I lull

unless is also can dictate the
acquisition of new equipment.
Southern Railway has made it
clear that it has no intention of
ordering new cars for the
"Crescent," and evensif Southern
and the ICC jointly decided to
purchase new cars where would
they get them? There is no car
manufacturing plant in the
country today turning out, or
equipped to turn out, the kind of
cars needed for the rail
passenger business in intercity
service.
When all the railroads decided
to get out of the rail passenger
business after WW II they
accomplished this, not with the
acquisition of the ICC and
Congress, so much as by starving
to death the rail passenger car
manufacturers. They simply quit
placing orders for new cars and
let the manufacturers die or turn
to other pursuits. When these
specialists were dead,, then it
remained only for the passing
years to bury the rest of the
industry.
Now, the National Rail
Passenger. Corporation which,
with its Federal funding, is

Passenger Act a "Buy
American" clause. Only
Congress could write a law which
insists that Amtrak ."Buy
American" whenther is no
American industry to buy from.
But even a miraculous
resurrection of passenger car
manufacturing is not enough.
There must be improvements on
designs laid down decades ago. In
Amtrak's seven years of
existence all it has been able
toacquire in the way of new
rolling stock has been less than
500 austere cars from the Budd
Company and thirteen sets of toy-
like French-designed
Turbotrains hich operate in
seleceted localities.
The ICC decision cites the
"Crescent" as "the premiere
train between Washington and
New Orleans." It is the only
passenger train between those
important points of the vigorous
heartland of the south.
It is as if the Civil Aeronautics
Board ordered the airlines to
serve Atlanta with DC-3's.
IN AN ERA when the railroads
of the world are operating

Amtrak's trains is mucn slower.
And what does the ICC look at~
when they study ridership data?
Between Washington and.
Atlanta, the "Crescent" stops ifr
17 communities: 11 of these 1i
stops are made between 9:30 p.m.
and 6:00 a.m. Is the modern;:-
highly mobile southland really
getting "Premiere" service wher
the only way to board it is in the4
dark of the night?
South of Atlanta thd
"Crescent" runs only three times'
a week. If the ICC has the best
interest of the public at heart,
how can it force upon would-be
passengers. this "Premiere" find"
it-if-you-can train-in-the-night.
* Why is it that Great Britain,
France, Germany, Japan and,
Russia all have comfortable,
frequent, safe, reliable and
highspeed passenger trainst
which are modern showpieces
while the United States amuses
itself by insisting that the ancient
and honorable old lady, the;
"Southern Crescent," must
linger on as this country's
"Premiere" passenger train?
A more enlightened ICC wouold
let the "Southern Crescent" die
of deserved old age; and theri
r""n in a.tavprvwhere with

-=-r= . ,i

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