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June 29, 1977 - Image 4

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Text
Publication:
Michigan Daily, 1977-06-29

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ABORTION LEGISLATION:
Officials don't trust women's choices

By LINDA WILLCOX
In an attempt to snnease some
public opinion, the Supreme
Court decreed 1i-st week that
poor women are nit necessari-
ly entitled to n hlic funds for
"non - therane'itic" abortions.
The Court did leave the defini-
tion on "non-therapestic" some-
what at the discretion of the
woman's doctor.
But the ruling, rather than
satisfy anyone, only incited seg-
ments of both sides of the abor-
tion question, and brought even
more governmental influence
into a strictly private arena.
Pro-abortionists cry "discrim-
ination"; anti-abortionists feel
the issue of abortion was not
addressed to their satisfaction,
and they continue to fan the

fires of the anti-atortion back-
lash.
In the short years since the
1973 Supreme Court ruling tell-
ing women when they can and
cannot have legal abortions,
governmental bodies have tried
to influence this already too-
sticky issue.
THE INTERIVENT1ON reflects
governmental distrust of the
women to act upon their predi-
lections about abortion.
The decision to abort a child
could not be called an easy de-
cision. Means of support, religi-
ots beliefs, and home life are
but three of myriad reasons
leading to the decision to abort.
Some women may simply want
no more children, but their con-
traceptive methods might have
failed. Others might be preg-

nant as a result of rape or in-
cest. Others might have had a
naive sense of overconfidence:
"It won't happen to me," they
might say. But it does.
And their are several hundreds
of women who get pregnant be-
cause their knowledge of or ac-
cess to birth control was lim-
ited or nonexistent.
SUCH WOMEN are most dras-
tically affected by last week's
Court ruling, because such wom-
en are generally in the lower
classes.
The two largest groups of
women seeking "non-therapeut-
ic" abortions are poor women
and teenagers; sometimes the
groups overlap.
Should any or all of these
women be denied the option of
abortion - by the Supreme
Court or pending Congressional
legislation - the consequences
would be dire.

Obviously, the propagation of
socioeconomic barriers would
increase. Children born in the
lower classes, especially unwant-
ed children, would be subject
to lesser quality medical care,
housing, jobs, and innumerable
other disadvantages inherent to
unwanted children and poor chil-
dren.
THE DENIAL of the option
of abortion to teenage mothers
could add more statistics to the
list of lower class persons. Few
teenagers are qualified to be-
come full-fledged mothers be-
fore they might even reach the
age of majority.
Certainly, some of those un-
wanted, children born to such
mothers could be adopted. But
it is unreasonable, for courts
to ask such mothers to bear
the children, then take the chil-
dren, then take the children
away, especially when medical

statistics have proven it to be
more dangerous to carry a child
full term than to abort,
All governmental authority
over the issue of abortion should
be halted, and the decision plac-
ed back where it belongs: only
in the hands of those it affects
most directly.
Rather than channel tremen-
dous energies against the class-
es of persons who need such
things as therapeutic and non-
therapeutic abortions, those en-
ergies would be better directed
at the development of more ef-
fective birth control methods,
and better dissemination of birth
control information.
As it stands, the aourts and
the federal legislature stand
ready to pose a choice: safe
and legal abortions for all who
desire them, even if provided
with public funds, or a return
to back street butchers, coat
hangers and lye.

The Michigan Daily
Edited and managed by Students at the
University of Michigan
Wednesday, June 29, 1977
News Phone: 764-0552
'U' open meetings force
encouraged by Regents
LAST MONTH the Regents asked Chief University
Attorney Roderick Daane to prepare a legal argu-
ment to enable the University to circumvent the new
state Open Meetings Act. The intent of this act, which
went into effect April 1 is to make all decision-mak-
ing meetings of public institutions or organizations open
to anyone who wishes to attend.
Just prior to the break between spring and sum-
mer terms, Daane presented to the Regents what he
called "the most defendable" legal position the Uni-
versity could take to circumvent the law "But he stressed
there was no guarantee these positions would hold up
in court University President Robben Fleming concurred
with Daane on both counts, saying he believed the posi-
tion to be "a reasonable analysis of the law."
The problem with, the position taken by the Re-
gents and University officials is if they succeed by
legal sleight-of-hand to avoid compliance with the let-
ter of the law they will still be consciously undermin-
ing the intent of the law which in our eyes in just as
heinous a crime.
This University is funded not only by the students
who attend classes here, but also by every taxpayer in
the state of Michigan, and all these people have a right
to know where and how their money is being spent. They
also have a right to hear the arguments presented be-
fore such decisions are reached. Presently, the Regents
convene both privately and publicly, but the open ses-
sions are merely a reenactment of the decisions already
reached in closed session. Although actual voting is
done in public meetings, there is little if any discus-
sion of the issue during this session. The regents do
all their haggling privately, then simply recite their
ayes and nays when all of us are watching.
OFTEN, AS IS THE CASE with promotions to dean,
hiring of new officers, and salaries of professors
and administrators, the public is either informed of
these decisions after they are made, or not informed
at all
In the last five years we have seen faith in our
public institutions dip to an all-time low, and the se-
crecy these institutions insist on maintaining is the
major cause of this lack of faith. The intent of the
Open Meetings Act was to make these institutions open
their doors, and show the public they have nothing to

k'e'! s v "Ntr 1Jt Su' r'ui ;"*t~ eO e OWO SWMS!

I1

ri

--
Health Service Handbook
By NANCY PALCHIK Thus, the practice of giving soup for a cold
and SYLVIA HACKER may be more than a common folk remedy. Al-
though colds are caused by viruses, many of
QUESTION: Whenever I call home about be- the complications that set in are bacterial in
ing sick, my mother seriously suggests chicken origin.
soup. Is there any truth in this, or is it one
of those old wives' tales? QUESTION: I'm planning to go to Europe.
Is there any place at the Health Service where
ANSWER: For years, people have been jok- I can get information on shots needed in dif-
ing about the curative power of chicken soup, ferent countries?
and some doctors have even said they would
consider giving it by injection, but were afraid ANSWER: Not only does our Immunization
the noodles would get stuck in the veins. Clinic give information but they help students,
At ' a five-day conference of the American spouses and faculty with travel immunization
Society for Pharmacology and Experimental planning. This means they work out an immuni-
Therapeutics last year at Michigan State, two zation program which includes the time period
scientists stated they believe the positive effects for the spacing of certain shots as well as pro-
of chicken soup and other fat derivatives have viding the vaccines.
been ignored too long. They detailed their tests Send all health related questions to:
on the germ-killing qualities of various substanc- Health Educators
es obtained from laboratories all over the world, University Health Service
finding that the derivatives with the strongest Division of Office of Student Services
bacterial action were those middle-sized chains 207 Fletcher
of fatty acid derivative. , Ann Arbor, MI 48109

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