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April 19, 1973 - Image 4

Resource type:
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Publication:
Michigan Daily, 1973-04-19

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Eighty-two years of editorial freedon
Edited and managed by students at the University of Michigan

Delving into the abortion decision

420 Maynard St., Ann Arbor, Mich.

News Phone: 764-0552

THURSDAY, APRIL 19, 1973

Continuing our mistakes

1rV~HE NIXON ADMINISTRATION con-
tinues to come out in defense of
governments whose internal tensions are
no concern of ours. By renewing bombing
raids over Laos and Cambodia we have
proven our military support for the
crumbling governments of the two coun-
tries, while threatening our relations
with Canada on the International Com-
mission of Control and Supervision in
Vietnam.
Canadian Foreign Secretary Mitchell
Sharp had said that the bombings are in
clear violation of the Vietnam peace
agreement and will have a great in-
fluence on Canada's decision on whether
or not to continue as a member of the
commission.
The supposed logic behind the bombing
raids on Laos and Cambodia is to loosen
the Communists grip on key Laotian and
Cambodian cities.
The logichowever, hassome flaws.
By dropping bombs on Laos and Cam-
Today-s staff:
News: Angela Balk, Ted Stein, Rolfe Tes-
sem, David Unnewehr
Editorial Page: Kathleen Ricke, L i n d a
Rosenthal
Arts Page: Diane Levick, Sara Rimer,
Mary Shapiro, Tery Terrill

bodia, the United States government is
using' its' military strength to support
the Canibodian government and further
involve itself in a war from which we
have supposedly withdrawn.
In addition the bombing is being done
at a time. when South Vietnamese forces
are reportedly moving northward into
Cambodia, and at a time when the South
Vietnamese are supposedly making an
attempt to begin negotiations with the
Viet Cong.
Secondly the bombing of Cambodia by
the U.S. government is in clear violation
of the Vietnam peace agreement.
We find the violation to be reprehen-
sible because the U.S. government finds
it necessary to use its military strength
to again try and browbeat the Com-
munists into a more submissive position
after years of failure at such tactics. But
it also allegates blatant disrespect for the
peace negotiations that have been com-
pleted, and possible future negotiations.
MOST IMPORTANTLY, though, the
Nixon administration continues to
believe that it has a right to involve the
United States in wars which Henry Kis-
singer has admitted are civil wars. We
still can see no justification for propping
up and bombing to support corrupt gov-
ernments which do not have the support
of the people, whether they be in Laos,
Cambodia, or South Vietnam.

By JEAN KING
INCE JANUARY 22 of this year
advocates of reform of abor-
tion laws-have shifted the focus of
their effort. In that month the U.S,
Supreme Court, interpreting the
U S. Constitution, held that the
criminal abortion statutes of Tex-
as and Georgia were violative of
the Fourteenth Amendment. These
state laws are typical of many
others and-the broad effect of the
Court decision is to give American
women a constitutional right to
terminate a pregnancy before the
end of the second trimester.
Many issues related to the right
to have an abortion yet remain
unresolved. Both proponents and
opponents of abortion reform are
working on them. As far as the
basic question of the establish-
ment of a woman's legal right to
have an abortion is concerned,
the supporters have relaxed their
efforts. The assumption is wide-
spread that 'the U. S. Supreme
Court has finally decided the is-
sue. Abortions performed by li-
censed physicians in the first two
trimesters (six months) of preg-
nancy ark legal, says the Court.
The Court also provided that abor-
tion procedures in the second tri-
mester are subject to state regu-
lation. Basic to the decision was
the Court's holding that the word
"person," as used in the Four-
teenth Amendment, does not in-
clude the unborn.
But the Constitution can be
changed. If you don't like what
the Supreme Court says is con-
stitutionally required, you can try
to amend the Constitution. Cur-
rently most supporters of a wo-
man's right to terminate a preg-
nancy are not very worried about
the possibility of such a change
because of what they perceive as
the great complexity and diffi-
culty of amending the Constitution.
They recall that recent efforts to
add amendments relating to pray-

.. .
The assumption is widespread that the U.S. Su-c
preme Court has finally decided the issue. Abor-
tions performed by licensed physicians in the
first two trimesters (six notaIs) of pregnancy
are legal, says the Court.
+fi:;r. :,;. ir<t:;;:t" ;;;.,,r::x~ t :: .:>:: ::t";:"::>::":<":"a": >:;x.;:::.:;:.;.: ;:" ::::::::::.:"::::::::.: :.:":

er, apportionment, and wiretap-
ping have been notably unsuc-
cessful. They tend to forget the
amendments further back in time
that were proposed for the pur-
pose of reversing the constitution-
al interpretations of the Court
which were successful.
TODAY OPPONENTS of abor-
tion reform are advocating chan-
ges in the U. S. Constitution which

forthcoming Congressional recess
to lobby every Representative in
her or his home territory.
At present the Representatives,
no matter what their views on the
merits, generally do not want to
vote on abortion. Most of them are
well aware that either a "yes"
vote or a "no" vote would anger
many constituents.
BUT THEY WILL also be made

lbws that the bases of the Court's
decision are under attack. And
such hearings will also provide op-
ponents of the Court's decision
with a dramatic forf'm. If the sub-
committee considers the proposed
amendments in an orderly fashion,
it is unlikely that the chairman of
the House Judiciary Committee or
the full committee itself would in-
terfere.
Following subcommittee consid-
eration, it is quite probable that
its members will report out one of
the proposed amendments. Even
if they don't, the full Judiciary
Committee could take the question
away from the subcommittee. This
is an unusual move, but it does
happen on issues that are politic-
ally hot.
W HE N T H E PROPOSED
amendment has been considered
by the full House Judiciary Com-
mittee, that committee may not
report out the resolution. The tac-
tic of the opponents of abortion re-
form might then be the same as
that successfully used by the pro-
ponents of the Equal Rights
Amendment: a petition to dis-
charge the committee which re-
quires the signatures of 218 Repre-
sentatives.
By autumn of 1973 or even
sooner the battleground for abor-
tion reform could be the floor of
the House of Representatives. The
goal of those supporting reform
would be to secure public and defi-
nite commitments from 146 or
more Representatives to vote
against overturning the Supreme
Court decision. Most experienced
political observers now believe
that if such a. proposed amend-
ment on abortion receives a two-
thirds vote in both houses of Con-
gress, it would be speedily rati-
fied by the requisite 38 states and
become part of the Constitution.
Of the proposals which have
now been introduced, the amend-
ment which appears at present to
have the most energy behind it is
the one which defines the fetus as

a person from the moment of con-
ception. This version, however, is
vulnerable to exploration of the
ultim-ite and extreme legal coritse-
quences of its language.
The political future of the pro-
posed amendment which would
make abortion a states' rights is-
sues is much brighter. One reason
for this is that in supporting this
version a Congressman can claim
he has not voted on the merits of
a controversy. A vote in favor, he
will tell is, is merely a statement
that this is/ a matter for the
states. This is the posture assum-
ed by both major Presidential
candidates in 1972 and by their re-
spective national conventions.
If other issues with similar emo-
tional impact are combined with
abortion in a states' rights amend-
met setting or if the alternative
route of a call by the states for
a convention to amend the con-
stitution is successful, it is indeed
difficult to predict the immediate
future of abortion reform. But it
is clear that if the supporters of
the Court .decision are not alert,
we may find ourselves in 1974 fac-
ed at best with a Missouri compro-
mise of 13 :weeks or at Worst with
a complete reversal of the Court's
decision.
T 11 E APPROPRIATE action
for supporters of abortion reform
is clear from this account. Pay a
personal visit to your Represen-
tative during the spring recess,
April 19 through April 25. Let him
know you and others you repre-
sent endorse the Court's decision.
If you can't find him in his home
area, write to him c/o House Of-
fice Building, Washington, D. C.,
20515. Visit or write both of your
Senators.
And be prepared to visit, call, or
write again. This will be a long
struggle.
Jean King is the co-chairperson
of the Michigan Abortion Refer-
endifm Committee.

x

4

4

would negate the Court's decision.
Though many different amend-
ments have been proposed, they
are of three basic kinds: (1) a pro-
hibition against abortion which is
linked with the rights of older
people; (2) a definition of the fetus
as a person from the moment of
conception; (3) abortion as a mat-
ter for the states.
The group in the House that will
first deal with these proposals is
Subcommittee No. 4 of the House
Judiciary Committee, chaired by
Congressman Donald Edwards of
California. This subcommittee has
not yet met to consider them,
Meanwhile vigorous pressure from
opponents of abortion reform -
pressure of the type now so well
known to Michigan residents -
is being applied to some of the
members of Congress. Busloads of
constituents and mountains of
mail are beginning to appear in
Congressional offices. The in-
formed expectation in the Capi-
tal is that opponents of the Court's
decision will take advantage of the

aware that in this instance Con-
gressional inaction is not a shield
against anger. Thus heavy lobby-
ing pressure by opponents of abor-
tion reform may force an amend-
ment out of the subcommittee,
then out of the full Judiciary Com-
mittee and into the House 'of Rep-
resentatives where, for the first
time, the right to abortion would
be treated as a national legislative
issue.,
Legislative inertia and cunning
usually sees to it that most mat-
ters which are no-win issues for
Congressmen get bottled up. Nor-
mally the subcommittee would
receive considerable informal en-
couragement to hold such contro-
versial amendments as these so
that the rest of their colleagues in
Congress would not have to vote
on them. In the current climate
this will probably not be possible.
Subcommittee No. 4 is very like-
ly to hold hearings on the proposed
amendments which would serve
the useful function of alerting
those across the country who have
worked for liberalized abortion

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Bon Voyage!
Editor's note: This is the last in a series of traveling tips pre-
pared by The International Center Staff.
By The INTERNATIONAL CENTER STAFF
"YOU'LL GET OUT of your trip only as much as you're willing to
put into it. You can go with everything, the strangeness, the
inconvenience, the different customs. Or you can fight it all and
be miserable while others around you are having the time of their lives."
"Learn as much of the language as possible - even a few phrases
-because the local people appreciate it. But even if you don't have
many words in common, don't be reluctant to try other means of com-
munication. I spent many delightful hours communicating via charades
and pictures with Russian sailors on a train across Siberia."
"Don't believe everything that Americans or some foreigners tell
you about drinking water or eating local food. We did it in Turkey
for a year and are healthier than when we started. Americans abroad
who are extremely cautious about trying local food and water may
deprive themselves of a great deal."
"If you're going to India, plan to spend much time in a few
places. Adjusting to Indian culture takes a lot of time for most
Westerners. To give yourself and India a fair change, take it slow."
These quotes are tips from seasoned travelers who've filled out
questionaires at the International Center Work/Study/Travel Abroad
Office about their overseas experiences.

A

'I

I

Sharing travel expertise and maximizing
ience is what the Work Study/Travel Office
planing to spend this summer abroad, come
you get back.

the cross-cultural exper-
is all about. If you're
see us in the fall when

In a preceding seven part series in The Daily, we've touched on
pre-departure information, the art of reading guidebooks and hitching
abroad, on avoiding drug busts overseas and on possible ways to travel
in Europe, the Middle East, Africa and overland to India.
If you envision yourself as more than a tourist in these areas,
come to the Cross-Cultural Travel Seminar, Monday, April 23 from
7 to 10 p.m. at the International Center. We're going to explore per-
sonal goals in travel and ways to increase sensitivity to cultural
cues and communication. We'll try a little role playing and a lot of
group discussion to get expectations and apprehensions out in the
open.
If our information has helped you, yours can probably help fel-
low students who are contemplating an overseas experience. So come
see us when you get back and have a great trip!

Distributed by Los .ngeles mimes SYNDICATE

A roadside retreat in a mountain village where a traveler can stop for a bit
of wine and cheese, and to count endless chains ofpeaks.

Grading and the undergraduate experience at the

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,I

By STEVE WISSMAN
DON'T LIKE grades. I think they are
very destructive. This isn t a new feel-
ing. I have disliked grades for a very long
time. The problem was that I didn't know
of a better alternative. Research was need-
ed, opinions had to be collected, g
In late Fall of 1970, a few students
decided to start asking questions. We talked
to University people, asked the LS&A dean
to write letters requesting opinions from
other deans around the country, read books,
and devised a survey to determine student
opinion. W e discovered that people who de-
fended the present system were unable to
explain how grades helped the learning pro-
cess.
We channelled our information into the
Dean's Committee ou the Underclass Ex-
perience, and through that body creted
a proposal for grading reform

posal to the committee as a whole, which
decided to pass it on to the Executive Com
mittee. The Executive Committee, after
long deliberation, decided not to make
any decisi6n at all,
Beginning to see the little red caboose at
the end of the train of College committees,
there seemed to be nothing stopping us from
taking the issue to the faculty for a vote.
The Dean quickly regrouped his forces,
cleverly creating an entirely new commit-
tee. This would be the ultimate committee.
ft;s charter would be to deal with Graduation
Requirements, a category which can be coo-
strued to include everything from distribu-
Uon requirements to dietary laws. The
graduation 'Requirements Committee decid-
ed that it would be important to ask some
particular questions about the underclass
years. In spite of the committee which
already existed, they created their ovn ,

governing faculty, but twice the normal
attendance). An effort to table the proposal
(to decide not to decide) was narrowly de-
feated. The faculty then voted to reject the
proposal, and to delegate the GRC to estab-
lish a subcommittee to "begin serious
investigation" of the grading issue.
Representatives of various other commit
tees leaped to their feet, in a wild attempt
to salvage the hundreds of work hours al-
ready invested in search of a viable answer
to the problem. The faculty admitted that
they should think about it one more time,
so they agreed to allow grading to be dis-
cussed again at the next faculty meeting.
That faculty meeting went pretty much as
expected. Refusing to divide the question,
the faculty members discussed the pack-
aged Curriculum Committee reform pro-
posal. As its sponsors will readily admit,
its intention was not to alter the rmimin-

ingful, since only the aggressive, success-
oriented people would continue to choose
grades. As long as the use of grades is
a matter of student choice, that choice be-
comes a grade in itself.
By the end of the meeting, the faculty
had, in a straw vote, rejected the Cur-
riculum Committee proposal. They then
voted, overwhelmingly, to "postpone inde-
finitely" any further discussion of the
grading problem.
With that stroke, the years of work. by
various committees, and careful research
conducted by many students and faculty
members was stuffed into a remote cubby
hole once again.
GRADING IS, indeed, a crucial issue.
Although the GPA still seems irreplaceable
as an instrument for future placement,
there is nohafi fr hsavalofa - E

of a given subject, a discipline that will
lead to the retention of useful skills and
information.
The goal is not a grade sheet, but the
application of knowledge to living. If stu-
dents were helped to develop this kind of
discipline in their first two college years,
then they might be able to learn effectiveiv
in their higher level courses despite the
existence of grades,
Gradeless classrooms do not general'y
work to the instructor's advantage. With
the threat of punishment for non-conform-
)e, instructors must bring relevancy
to their subject matter, and logic to their
syllabi. Since they would no longer be the
masters carrying the whips, faculty mem-
bers might be faced with students who
would attempt to relate to them on a
collaborative, or even peer, level.

cisions for us. They are doing a mightly
bad job of it.
Angry? You bet I'm angry. I've spent
four years here, as a student, trying to
make things better, and I have certainly not
been alone. I guess we have learned one
thing for sure. The faculty don't want to
listen to what we have to say. The faculty
will never give us anything. Those who
have both power and comfort would have
to be either crazy, or very rational in or-
der to lessen their control of either of these
commodities. The faculty in LS&A, as
a body, is neither totally crazy nor very
rational.
FACULTY PEOPLE, I have no greater
insight to leave with you than this: you
are wvrong..It is not rational to beg others

xI

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