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December 08, 1973 - Image 4

Resource type:
Michigan Daily, 1973-12-08

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

Ere M.r i4gan Patil
Eighty-three years of editorial freedom
Edited and managed by students at the University of Michigan

Easing the abortion trauma

420 Maynard St., Ann Arbor, Mi. 48104

News Phone: 764-0552



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"'VEN THOUGH I thought I might be preg-
nant, the positive pregnancy test came as
a shock," said a student who had had an
abortion in October of this year. "But I had
already decided long ago that I couldn't have
a child before marriage and I couldn't justify
getting married just because I was expect-
ing a baby. Abortion was the only answer."
Abortion is the answer for many Univer-
sity students who find themselves pregnant
at a time when the idea of marriage and or
motherhood threatens career and life plans.
Unwanted pregnancy is a personal trauma
that requires a significant decision and sup-
"The worst part," said one girl, "was
feeling alone. My boyfriend left and I knew
I couldn't tell my parents. I had to find some-
one to talk to. I wasn't thinking clearly enough
to make any decisions about the rest of my
Ann Arbor's problem pregnancy counseling
services helps women in the Ann Arbor and
University community make such decisions.
The service includes Problem Pregnancy Coun-
seling at the Health Service. Student Services
Counseling Office, Office of Ethics and Re-
ligion, the Mental Health Clinic and the Wo-
men's Crisis Center.
THEY WORK like a corporation with dif-
ferent branches, separate but coordinated, to
get problem pregnancy information and as-
sistance to the woman in need.
The foundation for the Counseling Serv-
ice was the now defunct Michigan Clergy
Counseling Service, in service from 1968 until
this year. During the time prior to legalized
abortions, the interdenominational group
sought safe, reliable abortionists to refer peo-
ple to and began an evaluation of different
agencies and clinics.
A problem pregnancy task force, made up
of representatives of all the different branches,
has continued the evaluation service and or-
ganized banks of information available for
counseling use.
Abortion, although less controversial now
than five years ago, is still a sticky political
and administrative issue. Len Scott, the co-
ordinator for the campus pregnancy coun-
seling service, operating out of the Office of
Ethics and Religion, said, "Until recently,
only the Office of Ethics and Religion of-
ficially took the responsibility for abortion
counseling. Now several groups are sharing
the responsibility."
PROBLEM PREGNANCY counseling deals
with alternatives other than abortion. "The
service views abortion as only one alternative,"
said Scott. "But over 85 per cent of the
women in the University who come to is with
an unwanted pregnancy opt for that alterna-
Once a University students fears she is
pregnant, she is likely to go to Health Ser-
vice for a pregnancy test. The Problem
Pregnancy Counseling Office in the Health
Service is downstairs from the laboratory
where pregnancy tests results are obained
"Counseling starts from where the woman
is," says Ms. Lois Levinson, a counselor from
the Mental Health Clinic. "We don't try to
talk anyone into or out of an abortion. Abor-
tion is only one alternative and it isn't the
right alternative for every woman."
University problem pregnancy counseling
services can be only referral services when
the abortion alternative is decided upon. Uni-
versity Hospital performs only therapeutic, not
routine abortions. "University of Michigan
Health Service never performs abortions,"
adds Scott. "They have no surgical facilities
at all."
WOMEN'S HEALTH Service and S u m m i t
Medical Center, both in Detroit, are the two
clinics recommended and used in referral by
the Counseling Services. Women's Crisis Cen-
ter also refers to the Keemer Clinic in De-
troit, a newer clinic soon to be added to the
list used in reference by the other counsel-
ing sources. "We give the woman the in-
formation," said Scott. "The decision as to

which clinic is chosen is up to her."
Both Summit and Women's Health Service
offer the same comprehensive services, u.-
ing the vacuum method of abortion. Such a
method is only safe with pregnancies up to
12 weeks. If the pregnancy is more advanc-
ed, the patient is referred to a hospital, us-
ually the Eastern Women's Center in New
York City, for a dilation and curretage or sa-
line solution abortion.
The Clinics are rcommended only after care-
ful inspection and evaluation by the prob-
lem pregnancy counseling team. "We don't
stand on someone else's evaluation," said Len
Scott. "When we talk to people, it reassures
them to get as much accurate, descriptive
information as possible."
AN INSPECTION and evaluation team in-
cluding Scott, a gynocologist from Health Ser-
vice, students from Public Health and a clergy
group member have visited the clinics, talking
with the personnel and completing extensive
reports on facilities, atmosphere, and serv-
ices. Recommended clinics are chosen on the
basis of these reports.
But although the clinics and techniques are
carefully scrutinized by experienced counsel-
ors and technical experts, the most valid tes-
timony comes from one who has been through
the experience. All interviews vith former
abortion patients were conducted in complete

"The worst part," said one girl, "was feeling alone. My boyfriend
left and I knew I couldn't tell my parents. I had to find someone
to talk to."
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DURING NORMAL working hours, any of
the counseling offices are available by tele-
phone. Women's Crisis Center has a typical
problem pregnancy counselor on call at all
times. A distressed woman can call and talk
to a counselor to set up a personal inter-
view or get what information she needs over
the phone. "We can give information on abor-
tion procedures and area clinics or we can
just talk about it," said Rachel Harley, a
Women's Crisis Center counselor. "On the
whole, women have more of this kind of in-
formation now than they used to. Sometimes
they just need someone to talk to."
The Daily ran an ad in the Personal col-
umn for many months giving a collect number
to call for "a reliable abortion service." Dial-
ing the Cleveland nuumber connects you with
a motherly sounding woman who refers you
to a private clinic in Livonia.
"Honey, I have access to the finest clinic
with all the facilities of a hospital," she says.
"Listen to me, dear. Most abortioners are
quite painful, but this clinic is the only clinic
where you don't feel anything. I can guarantee
you no pain. They give you demarol and it's
just like twilight."
THE REGULAR FEE for an abortion at
the Livonia clinic is $150.00, but the woman
assured me it could be lowered to $125.00 if



Victory for student input

versal of last week's resolution cen-
soring the use of quotas by the Univer-
sity - a move that was admittedly aimed
at the Black Action Movement (BAM)
demands - is a step in the right direc-
However, the action by itself does not
go far enough. The final compromise
resolution passed last night still con-
tains a clause censuring the use of quo-
tas. The issue of whether the University
has goals or quotas is an artificial one,
and only serves to dilute the message de-
livered by SGC.
The message, while proclaiming stu-
dent support for the BAM demands, un-
fortunately carries the subtle implica-
tion that students do not support the de-
mands wholeheartedly.
The real importance of Thursday
night's action did not lie, though, in the
final resolution passed by the Council.
The real issue was the importance of the
News: Cheryl Pilate, Stephen Selbst, Ted
Stein, Rolfe Tessem, Rebecca Warner
Editorial Page: Eric Schoch, David Yalo-
Arts Page: Diane Levick, Mara Shapiro
Photo Technician: Karen Kasmauski

FOR THE FIRST time this year people
showed interest in what SGC was do-
ing. The presence and participation of
the large number of onlookers insured
that the Council considered something
of concern to the students, rather than
the unimportant self-serving matters
that often characterize council meetings.
If there had been no audience it is
doubtful that the Council would have
adopted the stance that it did. Direct
pressure from its constituents forced an
unrepresentative Council to consider the
interests and feelings of the students
they purport to represent.
The fact that the audience was largely
black cannot be overlooked in terms of
significance. Council has been a symbol
of white male power this term, and has
been associated with backward attitudes
and legislations. Accordingly, women,
blacks and other minorities have felt that
SGC offered them nothing in the way of
support, and was unresponsive to their
needs and wishes.
be the first step down the road to in-
creased minority representation and par-
ticipation in the affairs of Student Gov-
ernment Council.
And hopefully Thursday's meeting will
also mark the beginning of a Student
Government Council which takes an ac-
tive, positive role in furthering the rights
and interests of all University students.

confidentiality over the telephone. The wo-
men were contacted by the problem preg-
nancy counselors and given my number; com-
ments attributed to them were voluntary.
One former patient had gone to Women's
Health Service, the facility seemingly opted for
most often -by University students referred by
the problem pregnancy counselors.
"I had imagined the place would be cold,"
she said. "But the whole place was cheerful,
with bright colors. The staff was very com-
passionate and I was relaxed. I didn't feel
ashamed or disgraced; no one there was judg-
ing me. The actual abortion took about five
minutes. They use a vacuum that gives an
unusual sensation, but not painful or even
uncomfortable. I was conscious during the en-
tire operation and I remember the post(rs on
the ceiling and the doctor talking to me the
whole time. I had gotten there at 9 a.m. and
by noon I was out eating lunch. I had gone in
expecting the worst, but it seemed everything
was arranged to make it as easy for the pa-
tient as possible."
BETWEEN THE discovery that she is preg-
nant and a decision on how to cope with that
discovery there must be an acceptance of
reality, a listing of all the options and a
careful evaluation of how each option will
affect the individual patient. A satisfactory
ending must be preceded by much personal
thought. And often, an objective viewpoint or
a steady, knowledgeable friend is a necessity
for rational decision making.
Said a former abortion patient, "I knew I
needed help. I knew my decision would in-
fluence the rest of my life. But I didn't know
anyone who would understand or be able to
give advice. I was reluctant to talk to strang-
ers. I didn't feel like standing in line at the
counseling service behind a girl with room-
mate problems or some guy flunking chemis-
try. I finally had to force myself to talk
about it. It was a personal thing to discuss
with a stranger."
For a woman considering abortion, an ideal
advisor is both warm and compassionate, to
befriend her, yet somehow official and anony-
mous to protect her. If an individual is ex-
tremely reluctant to talk face to face with a
stranger, a telephone provides a little more

there were "money problems".
She claimed to be an independent, without
affiliation with any organization; her s o l e
motive is presumably a personal interest in
getting individuals to abortionists. "I've been
in the abortion business for a long time," she
explains. "I started out as a volunteer but
now I get some money to help pay for phone
bills and other expenses " She would not
specify where the money comes from. "I'm
sure they wouldn't want to be identified."
"No one is more legitimate than me," she
stressed. "I don't send anyone to an abortion
"I don't want to be identified or have the
clinic named," she said. "I'm only interested
in helping girls. That's no one else's busi-
ness. I just don't like publicity. Let people
find out for themselves."
'1OF where the patient goes,
who refers them, or what exactly they do
"find out for themselves," abortion is not
an easy thing to go through.
Monetary costs are between $125.00 and
$150.000, but emotional costs are not so easily
"Even after the abortion, after the precau-
tions everyone took, I kept wondering 'what
if . .'," said one patient. "What if I'd had
the baby? But it was my decision. The coun-
seling was really excellent. Bob Lees (a coun-
selor from Health Service) called me after
the operation to follow-up and ask how I was
doing. I really felt someone cared."
No matter how comprehensive the coun-
seling, the individual still must face the actual
experience alone. But the area counseling
serv ces seem to have an ample supply of
helping hands and guiding lights. The people
involved in problem pregnancy counseling are
concerned with patient safety, mental a it d
physical health; they follow the patient's pro-
gress from the positive test result to post-op-
erative attitude.
All the counselors seem to make the women
involved a part of their lives instead of mere-
ly a part of their jobs.
One- girl said, "It isn't something I would
ever want to happen again. But I think it's
possible to go through it and come out al-
right. It doesn't have to be the end of your
life. I owe a lot to some very kind people."

Letters to the Daily

To The Daily:
THE UNSIGNED flyer entitled
"Hey Sambo" dated Nov. 30, and
distributed on the University cam-
pus this week carries the imprint
from the cover of the brochure is-
sued by the Office of the Black
Student Advocate, which was entit-
led "Black Advocate for Black
The use of this logo is mislead-
ing and occurred without the know-
ledge or approval of the Office ci
the Black Student Advocate. The
flyer is counterproductive and is in
no way associated with this office.
I would have preferred a different
forum for the presentation of the
issues of concern to the persons
who issued the flyer.
-Richard Garland
Black Student Advocate
Dec. 6
To The Daily:
Student Judiciary's decision t h a t
SGC President Lee Gill had met
the SGC Constitution's require-
ment on the student status of its
membership. The Constitution
states "Council shall consist of
currently enrolled students or stu-
dents who were enrolled in the pre-
vious full term." Gill had enrolled
for this fall's semester hut with-

evidence but there was "enough
ambiguity" to find Gill innocent.
Chief Justice Jay Brody said that
CSJ's decision had to be on the
"narrowest grounds possible." I
and SGC member Robert Gordon
have introduced a constitutional
amendment to correct the law's
I am more disturbed by the fact
that "The Daily" so often finds it
necessary to make up lies about
what I say. For example, I said,
"The Daily should be very happy
that their man (Gill) has man-
aged to get around the law once
again." This is not the statement
that appeared in the pro-Gill Daily
on Nov. 30 in Stephen Selbst's ar-
ticle. Also after the ruling, Selbst
arrogantly asked the plaintiff's
counsel, Dave Shaper, "Schaper,
what the f . are you doing here?"
This did not appear in the Daily's
story but a misquote of Schaper's
answer did. Schaper had respond-
ed, "It's none of your goddamned
business. F off." I then replied
"Schaper is as much a student as
Gill." (Both are not currently en-
rolled but have been in the past).
Of course, this was left out of The
Daily. Selbst wrote that "most of
the plaintiffs would not comment
following the decision.," I know
that this is not true in regards to
me and I believe it is equally fic-
titious in regards to the otier six
complainants there.
I was also very surnrised that

my family murdered by Hitler and
the Nazis, I am considerably up-
set about that type of irrespon-
sible rhetoric and "veroal taunt."
In a Selbst article on Oct. 30,
he had a similarily biased me-
mory when he reported that I -nd
some other members of Campus
Coalition "were continually inser-
sitive to the rights of those around
them" at an SGC meeting. B u t
Selbst later told me that it was
the Screw SGC party that were
the real offenders. I asked him
to retract his statement but ne said
he didn't have to - and didn't.
Selbst also told me on Nov. 29
that if he wanted to, he could
twist a story any way he desired.
And that's something all 1) a i y
readers should keep in mind.
-David Faye
SGC member
Dec. 2
Editor's note: The editors of The
Daily stand behind the accuracy of
the story mentioned by Face ,which
appeared on Nov. 28. Moreover, the
editors uphold the integrity of re-
porter Stephen Selbst, both regard-
ing the Nov. 28 story and the others
to which alludes.
people's clinic
To The Daily:
feels it is necessary to respond to
certain events that occurred at City
Council's Dec. 3 meeting:
First, in Mayor Stephenson's
written remarks to Council. he

Free Clinic would like to com-
ment on remarks made by Coun-
cil members concerning these con-
tracts. The Free People's Clinic
does not consider itself a "com-
munity service" organization, but
rather, a community necessity.
Every Clinic patient is asked to
fill out a Medical Care Survey as
part of our approach to medical
care which involves patient input
as much as possible. Seventy per-
cent of our patients consider the
Free Clinic to be their family doc-
tor, and a typical response to our
question: "Where would you go for
health care if these were no Free
Clinic," has been, "I wouldn't."
We believe that accessible, hu-
mane, free health care is not a
community service, but a human
Furthermore, the Free Clinic
joins the Human Rights and the
Democratic members of Council in
deploring the rescinding of Tribal
Funding's contract. The Clinic is
concerned that this move may ie
the first skirmish in a Republican
campaign to either cancel or re-
fuse to renew other - social neces-
sity contracts like those held by
the Free People's Clinic, Indigent
Patient Referral Fund, S u m m i t
Medical Center, Drug Help, and
Ozone House.
-Ann Arbor
Free People's Clinic
Dec. 4


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