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February 21, 1975 - Image 4

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1975-02-21

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Eighty-four years of editorial freedom
Edited and managed by students at the University of Michigan

Contraception controversy:


Friday, February 21, 1975

News Phone: 764-0552

420 Maynard St., Ann Arbor, Mi. 48104
TWCC demands mixed bag

World Coalition Council (TWCC),
spurred on by righteous indignation
and a mass aversion to playing the
fall guy any longer, took the Admin-
istration Building by surprise last
Tuesday, and. there they sat, awaiting
University accession to their de-
mands, until yesterday.
The TWCC, a mixture of blacks,
chicanos and Asian-Americans, was
set up as a medium for channeling
the common complaints of campus
racial minorities.
Presumedly united under the TWCC
banner, the minorities began their
sit-in determined to make the Uni-
versity take notice and finally come
through on the promises made to the
Black Action Movement five years
Tragically, it was resistance and
dissension from within the minority
caucus that spelled a premature end
to their strategy.
THE DOZENS of demands pre-
sented by the group to President
Fleming, several merely reiterated or
were natural extensions of requests
already granted during the BAM
strike actions of 1970.
There is no denying the distinct
economic and cultural disadvantages
that confront most minority students
on this campus, and special efforts
must be made to accommodate them
as equitably as possible. The TWCC's
request for establishing full-time
Asian-American and Native American
advocates and a Chicano Cultural
Center on campus speaks to a long-
neglected need for real racial equality
here and elsewhere.
The Daily strongly supports the
TWCC demands seeking minority rep-
resentation among students, faculty
and administrators corresponding to
minority percentages within the
state's population. While recognizing
the difficulties inherent in active re-

cruitment of minorities with the aim
of filling quotas, we feel the Univer-
sity is obligated to follow through on
its assurances of five years ago.
re-tooled with the intent of meet-
ing a minimum ten per cent black
enrollment by next year and sub-
sequently a percentage equal to or
greater than that of the state black
Although The Daily agrees in spirit
with the TWCC position in toto, we
consider the following positions un-
founded from a practical standpoint
and therefore untenable:
THAT ALL BLACK faculty members
be granted tenure.
That all grades of less than 'A' for
black students be neutralized until
the 1975 black faculty and enrollment
demands are met.
That all black students be exempted
from examinations until BUF feels
there is adequate black faculty and
administrative staff to justly evaluate
black performance.
On the matter of financial aid, The
Daily feels that no qualified student
should be denied financial aid, and
that funds earmarked for blacks
should be increased to meet the ten
per cent enrollment figure for next
year. We don't, however, endorse the
proposed immediate thirty per cent
increase in financial aid for blacks,
if that would unjustly deprive other
students of equal financial need.
It's unfortunate that the TWCC
chose to cripple their own case by in-
termingling a number of righteous
demands with others that defy serious
from the beginning, and the in-
ternal dissension it created saw them
deserting the Administration Build-
ing yesterday with nothing to show
for their efforts.

you don
AFTER DECADES of backroom abortions and
Coca-cola douches, birth control is finally
becoming the right of all women, regardless of
age or marital status. However, while gaining
this right, they have ben saddled with a myriad
of discomforts, side effects, and other serious
health hazards.
Every form of birth control, from the inno-
cuous diaphragm to the controversy-ridden morn-
ing after pill, has inherent drawbacks, which
range from possible cervical irritation to increas-
ed susceptibility to breast and genital cancer.
Unfortunately, women are often swamped with
misleading advertising and are not fully warned
about the risks involved in preventing unwanted
Much of the literature produced by the drug
companies is condescending in tone and tends to
downplay the side effects of the various con-
traceptive methods.
of the largest birth control manlfacturers, offers
a vast selection of pamphlets concerning the pill
and contraception in general. Although the Food
and Drug Administration requires that literature
included with the pill packet inform women of
all the possible side effects, many Ortho pamph-
lets are merely slick public relations efforts dis-
guised as serious factual information.
One such piece of literature, in outlining the
"disadvantages" of the pill completely ignores the
increased suceptibility to blood clots, yet men-
tions that "some women have a fear of swallow-
ing any kind of pills, drugs, or medication."
Another Ortho pamphlet exhorts women not to
panic if they forget to take their daily dose.
"Okay, so it was one of those days," it states.
"You overslept, broke a fingernail, got a run in
your last pair of pantyhose, and completely
forgot to take your Ortho-Novum."
THIS TYPE of literature is not only obnox-
iously sexist, but also leads women to believe

know can

hurt you

that the birth control pill is no more dangerc
than aspirin. By failing to detail the health ha
ards involved in evry single piece of literatu
Ortho and other drug companies only furti
their own economic aims at the expense
women's well-being.
In order for this situation to change, it
necessary for the FDA to adopt stricter regu
tions concerning the content of all contracepti
literature. Before women can effectively cont:
their own bodies, they must be fully aware of t
relative risks and merits of each form of bi
Even then, they do not have a world of o
tions before them. Deciding on a method of bii
control is merely a matter of choosing the less
of two evils.
AS DETAILED in the articles below, the p
DES and the IUD all pose a potential hea
hazard serious enough so that many wom
should be prohibited from using them entire
The most popular remaining methods of cont:
ception - foam and condom, and the diaphra
- are often avoided because they interfere w
the sexual act. In addition, women are son
times allergic to the spermidical agents found
jellies, creams and foams and gross irritation
the cervix can result.
The ultimate answer to the birth control
lemma lies in the hands of the federal gove
ment. Unless funding to contraceptive resea
is increased, a truly acceptable method of bi
control may never be found.
A newsletter from Planned Parenthood
Washington notes that the President's budget p
posal for family planning for the next fiscal ye
includes a cut of $21 million.
IT IS OBVIOUS that the fedral governmen
fiscal priorities must change before women c
obtain the right to truly control their own bodi
TO ONE knows for sure h
the intrauterine dev
(IUD) works. This is somew
astounding considering the c
vice has been used for o
70 years and is presently ins
over 6,000,000 American w
IUDs are small steel or po
ethylene objects which are p
ed into the uterine cavity a
have a nylon "tail" which p
trudes from the cervical can
Loop are the According to the 1974-75 edit
Lopof Contraceptive Technolo
present evidence suggests t
the IUD functions as a fore
body in th uterus, producing
inflammatory response. T h
anti-body reaction may dest
either the sperm or the fer
zed egg.
The newest, smallest (a
therefore least painful upon
hormonrl hal- sertion) IUD is the Coppe
uce more than This device was discovered
biochemical a Dr. Tatum who found t h
somehow the presence of c
of the pill wihaper enhanced the effectiven
of theil es-o of his small IUD. Small amou
of nsvnheti rdes- of copper released in the ute
insulin prodiuc- have been shown to interf
icantly reduce with various enzymatic re
e. Consequent- tions, with cellular DNA int
afamily history uterine lining and also prod
d be prevented an inflammatory response co
control pills. mon to other IUD's.
:NCE compiled IUDs HAVE a high effecti
v yaars shows ness rate against pregna
high correlation when they are maintained in
of the pill and uterus. Expulsion and discon
of blood clots. uation rates for the vari
ism constitutes IUDs range from 20 to 40p
serious risks to cent of the women whot
re pill, particu- them, according to manfaci
over 35 Itics ers' studies. These studies h
e excess death also documented that IUDs m
xclots indpil increase menstrual flowa
100,000 in mid- cramping, cause uterine v
perforation, pelvice inflam
which should tory disease, septic abortion,
fn one uses the tubal pregnancy. Becauset
on certain cells uterus is not a highly ener
believe that by ed organ, perforation and

r changes, oral fection of the uterus can bi
icreas the risk tially unnoticed by the
er. der-informed patient. At le


Before choosing a method of birth control, a women should
carefully assess the relative dangers and merits of each one.
Of the methods pictured above - spermicidal cream, (1, to r.)
diaphragm, pill, and condom - the most effective, but most
dangerous, is the oral contraceptive.

The Saf-T-Coil (left), the Copper
three most common IUD's.

7, and LippesI

GEO rebuts U' position

Problems aple
packaged inI

ow 7 deaths and 100 cases of infec-
ice tion have ben associated with
hat the Dalkon Shield, whi^h w a s
de- recalled this month becau ;e of
ver its dangerous nature.
ide IN SPITE of the above poie.-
wo- tial harm posed by IUDs, fed-
eral regulation by the Food and
pl-Drug administration and Feder-
ac- alrTrade Commission is inini-
nd mal. It seems that the scope of
ro- federal regulation is determined
al. by whether the IUD is defined
ion as a "drug," "new drug, ' o~r
gy, "device." The vast majoritv of
hat IUDs are presently classified as
ign "devices" and the FDA nis no
an authority to require prernarket
i s clearance for such an item.
roy The FDA can't require regis-
ili- tration of manufacturers of de-
vices, compel disclosure of corn-
n d plaints, require maintainence of
in- records and submission of re-
r-7. ports, nor require repair, r e -
by placement, or return of viola-
at tive devices.
op- Further, IUDs are a mulli-
ess million dollar business. It ge,-
tnts erally costs a company under
rus 50 cents to manufacture, steril-
ere ize and package an IUD. Clinics
ac- can buy Lippes Loop and the
tpe Saf-T-Coil at $1.50 each and the
-ce Copper-7 for about $3.50 each
in large lots. The average cost
ve. clinic is $20, at a private phy-
ncy to have an IUD inserted at a
the sician, $35. As long as they re-
,ifl- main classified as devices, there
Ous is no required expenditure by
per the manufacturer for medical
ur- testing.
nay IN ADDITION, about f i v e
and years ago congressional hear-


Editor's Note: Th following statement is
the official GEO reply to President Flem-
ing's "Report to the University Commun-
ity", which appeared in Thursday's Daily.
THE GRADUATE Employees Organiza-
tion regrets that it has been forced to
take strike action in the current contract
dispute with the U of M Adminisration. It
is our feeling that a more serious bargain-
ing effort by the Administration could have
avoided the present disruptions of the edu-
cational process at the University.
GEO began negotiating with Administra-
tion bargainers in July of last year. By De-
cember tentative agreement was reached
on a number of minor issues that are stan-
dard in labor contracts and largely repre-
sent current practice, or less, for most
Graduate Student Assistants. However, on
most of the major issues, no progress has
been made. On the specific question of
economics, the Administration stated that
its first position (originally presented in
November) was final and in fact this
proposal remains largely unchanged to this
date. This style of negotiating - refusing
to move on the most crucial issues - mark-
ed the Administration's stance at the table
and forced GEO to consider tactics that
would bring more pressure to bear on Uni-
versity officials.
GEO HAS been consistently willing to
bargain on its positions. In the revisions of
our proposals we have tried to take into
account constraints raised by both faculty
and administrators at the bargaining table.
When an Impasse was reached after three
sessions with the state-appointed media-
tor, GEO proposed binding arbitration as a
compromise solution that would avoid con-
frontation. This offer was rejected out of
hand. Throughout the negotiations, GEO
has acted as a responsible labor organiza-
tion. The University's intransigence forced
us to set a contract deadline, initiate a
strike vote, and go out on strike.
Economics, class size, and union secur-
ity are the three issues that are at the crux
of the current dispute. We are happy that
President Fleming considers our demands
jusified. We regard them as minimal. The
real question involved is one of 'U' priori-
ties. The Administration cannot continue to
ignore the financial plight of such a large
part of its academic staff. The projected
4 per cent decrease in the University bud-
get specifically excludes the salary base.
Moreover, in times of financial hardship,

a two-term appointment. After tuition is
subtracted, this leaves $2835 before taxes.
A quarter time GSA will receive $4869 after
tuition and before taxes. The Administra-
tion's current economic offer would give
GSAs nothing above the long-promised 8
per cent for the current academic year.
For many GSAs, the 8 per cent does not
even make up for the $128 per term tuition
increase. For next year, the Administra-
tion offers GSAs a gamble - we gain a
little if tuition doesn't rise; we lose again
if tuition is increased.
AGENCY SHOP is a common provision in
labor contracts. It ensures that all em-
ployees covered by the collective bargain-
ing agreement take part in the maintenance
of the union. The U of M reecognizes this
position and, although it includes agency
shop provisions in all of its contracts with
campus unions, it has thus far refused to
include an agency shop provision in the
GEO contract. GEO has approximately 1200
dues paying members representing over
one half of the GSAs at the University. We
are growing larger all the time. The con-
tract for which we are bargaining will bene-
fit all employees in our unit, not simply
GEO members. It would be unfair to make
only union members pay for the benefits
gained by all. People should not be deceived
by President Fleming's pompous argument
that agency shop is "distasteful" in an
academic environment. Agency shop is a
question of equity - in any environment.
GEO HAS asked for restrictions on class
size in courses taught by TAs. Class size
is an important condition of employment
for them, since it in part determines their
work load. It is also an educational issue
about which GEO is greatly concerned be-
cause it influences the quality of instruc-
tion which TAs are able to provide. We
wish to ensure that the Administration is
not able to increase class size as a means
of coping with financial problems at the
U of M. As an experienced labor arbitrat-
or, President Fleming certainly realizes
that obligations and restrictions are the
heart of the contractural relations. As part
of our overall package we are demanding
that the economic advantages we gain are
not at the cost of educational disadvantages
to those we teach.
GEO believes that the current strike can
be settled speedily if the University acts
in a more realistic and flexible way at the
bargaining table. This is most likely to oc-
cur if pressure on the U of M Administra-

ings arose on the topic of safety
and side effects of oral contra-
ceptives. It is estimated that
within six months after these
hearings, approximately 1,000,-
000 women discontinued use of
birth control pills and were in
the market for an altee.-tine
method of contraception. Up to
that time, IUD's had bee, used
in small-scale amounts. But the
void created by the dise iAiant-
ment with birth control pills
immediately after the Nelson
Committee hearings gave IUDs
increased commercial viability.
Extensive promotional ^ a m -
paigns proclaimed IUDs nearly
as effective as birth control
pills, without the concommitant
side effects and dangers of the
pill so widely publicized. Un-
doubtedly, women who were
then fitted with an IUD did not
realize that IUDs had in tact
not even been subject to the
premarket testing and evalua-
tion of the birth control pills
they were rejecting.
Note: Much of the ma-eriai
for this article was researched
by the California-based C )n!init-
tee for the Medical Right3 of
Women. 'As the result of t h e
group's efforts, the California
State Legislature has slated
hearings on the topic of t h e
IUD's potential hazards.
Letters should be typed
and limited to 400 words.
The Daily reserves the
right to edit letters for
length and grammar.

LTHOUGH the birth control
A pill is far from being an
ideal method of contraceptibn,
it is currently the only one
which is 100 per cent effective
when used properly.
Marketed in 1960 after it had
been tested by low income
Puerto Rican women ti a
"slum clearance" project, it
now claims over 8.5 million us-
ers in North America alone.
Through the use of synthetic
estrogens and progesterones, the
pill creates a hormonal "pseudo-
pregnancy" and hereby pre-
vents ovulation just as a wo-
man's body would when a fer-
tilized egg is already present.
Unfortunately, the pill also sni-
ulates some of the side effects
of pregnancy, including nausea,
fluid retention, headaches and
dizziness. Breakthrough bleed-
ing and spotting are also com-
mon reactions to the pill.
HOWEVER, these discomforts
pale when compared to the
more se r i o u s changes
caused by oral contracep-
tives. The pill can wreak havo:

with the body's
ances and prods
50 undesirable
Certain brands
higher amounts
trogen can slow
tion and signifi
glucose toleranc
ly, women with a
of diabetes shoul
from using birth
over the last fe
an inordinately l
between the use
the development
one of the most
women using th
larly for those
estimated that th
rate from blood
users is 3.4 per
dle-aged women.
The final risk
be considered wr
pill is its effect c
Some scientistsl
inducing cellular
contraceptives in
of cervical canc

More than a rude awakening

UOR MANY WOMEN, diethystilbestrol (DES)
or the "morning after" pill, has always
been regarded as a sort of miracle salvation in
preventing unwanted pregnansy. What the drug
companies and many doctors fail to publicize,
however, is that this drug is carcinogenic (can-
Over the past several years, the controversy
surrounding DES has alternately flared up and
died down and, when the Food and Drug Ad-
ministration last week approved the use of the
morning after pill in "emergency situations",
there was hardly a murmur.
The FDA press release noted that the drug
should "not be used as a routine method of birth
control" and that it would be "sensible and
prudent to avoid" whenever possible.
ALTHOUGH this is far from an endorsement,
the medical profession will probably continue to
dispense DES in much the same manner it has
in the past.

of birth control pills.
BECAUSE OF the cancer-inducing nature of
the drug, follow-up care, including a breast
check and pap smear is essential within the first
four weeks following treatment.
DES SHOULD NOT be administered to women
who have a family history which includes geni-
tal cancer, diabetes, blood clots or breast can-
cer. This is especially important because in the
last couple of years, evidence has surfaced that
daughters of women who have taken DES during
pregnancy, (it was at one time wrongly pre-
scribed to prevent miscarriage) sometimes de-
velop a very rare form of vaginal cancer.
Although the morning after pill is fairly effec-
tive in preventing pregnancy, conception some-
times occurs. In these cases, a woman may wish
to consider abortion as an alternative because
of the possibility of long-term damage to the
female fetus.

ale pill poses
4 RECENT TRIP to the Medical School Library uncovered
a single volume, Chemical Contraception, which offers
up-to-date information on research into male birth con-
trol methods.
Written by J. P. Bennett, the book startingly contrasts the
different attitudes concerning male as opposed to female
In his discussion of the documented dangers of oral con-
traceptives for women Bennett writes, "When risks are con-
sidered that may take one or more decades to develop, one
is faced with the virtually impossible task of- trying to assess
the possible scope of this hazard in the perspective of the
immediately desirable advantage."
However, when one turns to the chapter on male con-
traception technology- one finds a -completely different
"The toxicological and clinical studies required to prove
the safety and efficacy of a daily oral male contraceptive
are formidable and time-consuming. A chemical oral con-
traceptive for men will therefore not be available in this
BUT JUST WHAT is this experimental male contraceptive?
According to Bennett and others in the field, the bulk of
the research has centered on an anti-spermatogenic agent, a
drug which would render sperm impotent. Such drugs, it
has been shown, produce a reduction in the -size of the
testes and interference with the synthesis of an andro-


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