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June 08, 1979 - Image 4

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Michigan Daily, 1979-06-08

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Page 4-Friday, June 8, 1979-The Michigan Daily
0 Michigan Daily
Eighty-nine Years of Editorial Freedom
420 Maynard St., Ann Arbor, Mi. 48109
Vol. LXXXIX, No. 27-S News Phone: 764-0552
Edited and managed by students
at the University of Michigan

Nuclear protesters benefit
from previous movements

I - ar AL

i _

A _
Abortion action
violates rights
ASSACHUSETTS GOV. Edward King plans
to sign an ultimatum to poor rape and in-
cest victims of that state within a few days. Their
choice: go to a butcher or carry a baby for nine
months whose conception revolted and humiliated
them.
The move is expected to affect not only low-
income women but thousands in the middle class
as well. The measure would finance only those
abortions necessary to save a mother's life. Abor-
tion opponents argued that women can receive
discounts or finance their abortions in installmen-
ts.
Early-term suction abortions run about $175,
and saline abortions in later months cost $1,300 or
more and require hospitalization. Many poor
women cannot afford this extra burden and may
be forced to earn it illegally.
Meanwhile, Gov. William Milliken is trying to
prevent Michigan's abortion law from becoming a
Massachusetts replica. Circuit Court Judge Jack
Warren ruled last Friday that Milliken im-
properly exercised his veto power in trying to
maintain Medicaid-paid abortions, because he
illegally vetoed money in the budget. Attorney
General Frank Kelley filed an emergency appeal
of the ruling in' the Michigan Court of Appeals,
asking the court to issue a stay to delay im-
plementing Warren's decision. If the stay is
denied, Medicaid payments for abortions will be
cut off within a week.
Milliken has fought hard to provide poor women
with the same rights as their more affluent coun-
terparts. He obviously sees the weakness in abor-
tion foes' argument that taxpayers should not
have to pay for someone else's mistake. This
heartless viewpoint fails to consider the unfair-
ness of forcing a woman to bear an unwanted
child.
One of the most disturbing factors of all is that
men, who could not possibly understand what it
feels like to be raped, pregnant, or bear a child,
are forcing women to suffer the impact of their in-
sensitive decisions.
Monday, the U.S. Supreme Court refused to
block state funding of abortions performed on
welfare recipients in Illinois. Unfortunately, that
decision applies only to residents of that state, and
will affect other states only if their cases are
heard by the high court.
It is tragic to see women's basic rights to con-
trol their own bodies swept away, especially after
the hard-fought struggle seemed nearly over.

Saturday's well-orchestrated
protest against the construction
of the Fermi II nuclear plant held
outside Monroe illustrated traits
of the anti-nuclear movement
disappointing to the nuclear in-
dustry. It is much more difficult
to discredit this cause and its
supporters than those of the six-
ties.
The anti-nuclear movement'
has greater credibility and
drawing power than its
predecessors because the issue
affects everyone personally, and
its leaders have benefited wisely
from the evolution of civil
disobedience. Anti-war
protesters could be easily
discounted as disrespectful,
spoiled kids who shirked respon-
sibilities by not going to or'sup-'
porting the war.
INSTEAD OF attacking the en-
tire system, nuclear opponents
only ask to be assured of safety
and relieved from the maladies of
atomic power. This refined pur-
pose has helped attract support
spanning age groups and political
affiliation. Many of the
movement's members ascribe to
other liberal causes, but other-
wise conservative and. non-
activists also have joined the
drive.
Activism and events of the last
two decades swept away the
mystique and cloak of blind
patriotism that previously
precluded challenge of the
government. The new iconoclasts
are questioning another segment
of the power elite, big business's
sacred cow-profits. The
profitability and monopoly of
private utility companies invites
suspicion of their concern for the
public's safety and pocketbooks.
This suspicison is partly based
on fear aroused by the unknown
dangers of operating nuclear
power plants. Reports of body
counts and bombings were direct
and somewhat verifiable during
the Vietnam war. But no one
really knows the effect low levels
of radiation have on human

By JUDY RAKOWSKY
organisms, or when the' impact
will become apparent. Of course,
the Three Mile Island accident
exacerbated such fears.
BUT THE MOVEMENT has
not been sustained by mere
paranoia. The methods of civil
disobedience which proved effec-
tive throughout the sixties and
early seventies are .now being
prudently employed.
It is now realized that media
reports on the number of arrests
, made at a demonstration distorts
and muffles the protest's
message. Anti-nuke leaders ap-
parently recognize that violence
is also counter-productive.
Therefore, great pains have been
taken to maintain the non-violent
and legal nature of rallies.
Unlike most previous
movements, the media has
awarded nuclear critics greater
credibility by reducing sarcasm
and bias. Many protest reports in
the past were patronizing or
regarded demonstrators as ex-
cessively dangerous. The
seriousness of the Three Mile
Island accident and the memory
of the near meltdown of Fermi I
'contrbiute greatly to the attitude
the media has taken toward this
cause.
MARSHALS AT the Monroe
rally were ready to quell any
"bad vibes." This internal con-
trol was sufficient, and the
nearest police car was stationed
about a half mile from Nuke
Park. The die-in and funeral
possession which followed the
rally exemplified pacifism.
It is difficult to draw people to
an event, even if they support the
cause, if they perceive possible,
danger. It is doubtful that the
elderly nuns and mothers with in-
fants would have attended the
Monroe rally if they anticipated
violence or arrests. Since neither
of these undesirable elements
were found, they probably
carried away a positive im-
pression of protests which they
are likely to spread.
The absence of violence ap-

pears to be due to the contem-
porary mood and high degree of
organization. The contrast to the
sixties and early severties
,reveals a different frame of mind
for the entire country. The civil
rights and anti-war movements
both begun with intense anger
and members searched for ways
to direct it. The fervent emotions
were released sometimes con-
structively, but often destruc-
tively. Consuming anger at once
acted as a contagion to potential
supporters and created aversion
among its targets.
AT NIKE PARK, anger and
fervor emanated from the
speakers and entertainers on
stage, but listeners echoed much
fainter emotions. Unlike enraged
Nixon and Agnew who promised
to quash anti-war demon-
strations, utility officials have
refrained from emotional outbur-
sts themselves. Nevertheless,
utilities have been pressuring the
intelligence community to keep
nuclear power critics under sur-
veillance as "potential" or "iden-
tified" terrorists.
Although no terrorist
operations have been directed
against a nuclear plant in this
country, groups such as the
Clamshell Alliance are included
in the State Department's roster
of terrorist organizations. The
group has employed only the
traditional tactics of non-violent
protest and civil disobedience in
its fight against the construction
of a reactor at Seabrook, New
Hampshire.
But protesters' reduced anger
is sitive signal rather than a
mar of apathy. The nuclear in-
dustry cannot be combatted with
angry voices in a grassy field
near a plant under construction.
The important battles take place
in legislatures, courts, and
executive committees throughout
the land. Articulate, credible
evidence is a far better weapon in
such battles than uncontrolled
emotions.
Judy Rakowsky is the Daily
editorial director.

IF l6d tE 5C6CAR7P OF TIE F WE WtERE SCARP OF I F lF ER5 CAREV OF CAVE-INS
5EA OE' HAUQA.Yr HAVEHAG 'RAW wRECKS WE .vcT WE WcvsO'uT OAVE MapCoAl.
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SPRING EDITORIAL STAFF A Jacksonville, Florida police
teamis selling T-shirts to try to
ELIZABETH SLoWIK raise money to go to a tour-
Editor-in-Chief N O nament. The $5 shirts bear a
UDYtRAKOWSKYalr drawing, of Florida's electric
EdiaE rchair and the words "1 down-133
ArtsODirector C oK r£'to to go!" The slogan refers to the
MAUREENO'MALLEY k, recent. execution of ,John
LSAUDE Nk a convicted mur-
derer: The 133 is ,the number of

condemned inmates on death
row-the highest number of any
state in the nation.
Phil Kearney, a robbery detec-
tive and member of the softball
team said the shirts merely
reflect support for the death
penalty. Kearney also said sales
are open to the general ppblic but
the 'antici-pated mat'ket 'is' law
enforcementofficers. -

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