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October 20, 1989 - Image 4

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OPINION

Page 4

Friday, October 20, 1989

The Michigan Daily

........ ... ........ ...

be £ibigatu Dal
Edited and managed by students at The University of Michigan
420 Maynard St.

Phony clinics victimize women

Vol. C, No. 33

Ann Arbor, MI 48109

Unsigned editorials represent a majority of the Daily's Editorial Board. All other
cartoons, signed articles, and letters do not necessarily represent the opinion
of the Daily.
Raid strikes Belt Sahur

RECENTLY, IN the Palestinian town
of Beit Sahur, the Israeli occupying au-
thorities revealed just how far they will
go to destroy the Palestinian uprising.
On October 4 Israeli Army officials and
tax collectors raided Beit Sahur. The
authorities went from house to house,
from store to store and preceded to in-
vade the privacy of the owners and
merchants, terrorize the children, and
expropriate their personal belongings.
Watches and jewelry were taken
from people's wrists and necks; cars,
pharmaceuticals, and toys were seized.
Even small wall plaques showing a
dove over the Hebrew word Shalom
were taken from a Palestinian wood-
carver who refused to pay exorbitant
taxes to the occupying authorities. Is-
raeli authorities are planning an auction
in Tel Aviv in the near future to dispose
of the goods seized during the Beit
Sahur raid.
Israeli intentions regarding taxes are
clear. Defense Minister Yitzhak Rabin,
in a closed-door parliamentary commit-
tee meeting last Tuesday, told partici-
pants that Israel would punish Pales-
tinians who refused to pay taxes in Beit
Sahur in opposition to the occupation
of their land. He stated that "there will
not be any attempt to boycott taxes. We
are going to teach them a lesson."
(New York Times 10/11/89).
The raid, one of the most extensive
since the Intifadah began 23 months
ago, represents a trend by the Israeli
government to steal and confiscate
Palestinian property in lieu of taxes
which Palestinians refuse to pay.
The events in Beit Sahur, however,
are not isolated. In an attempt to ac-
quire much needed revenue for their
failing economy and illegal occupation,
the Israelis have adopted state policies
to tax the population it oppresses in an
effort to bring their resistance to an
end. Village after village in occupied
Palestine has felt the wrath of the tax
authorities who have on countless oc-
casions expropriated goods.

According to Israeli journalist Goga
Kogan writing in Al-Hamishar, "The
collection of taxes in the territories has
become one of the ways of making war
on the intifadah. Shops and businesses
are being extinguished because of the
arbitrary [tax] collection, without any
estimates, cautions, and appeals, and
with much violence. The civil adminis-
tration refuses to comment."
The reasons for the Palestinian tax
resistance are simple: the Palestinians
refuse to finance their own occupation.
The only "benefits" the Palestinians re-
ceive are more bullets for Israeli guns,
more tear gas to be fired into Pales-
tinian hospitals, more dynamite to blow
up Palestinian houses, and more Jew-
ish settlements built on land stolen
from Palestinians.
The elementary and secondary
schools for which the Israelis claim to
use the taxes are inadequate; they pre-
sent a limited curriculum that attempts
to negate the Palestinian national iden-
tity and aspirations, and are closed
whenever the military authorities wish.
Hospitals which Israelis have built are
costly and frequently deny medical care
to Palestinians.
The Israelis have the authority to levy
taxes against the Palestinians in a num-
ber of creatively cruel ways. Israeli tax
collectors - who have the same rights
as the soldiers and act with the same
impunity- have emptied hundreds of
Palestinian merchants stores in the
West bank and Gaza. They have con-
fiscated hundreds of cars (300 in the
first week of August alone) and have
even issued what they have called a
"stone tax" which is a kind of revenge
for the Intifadah. In addition, many
Palestinians have been beaten, impris-
oned, and detained by the tax collec-
tors.
It is quite unfortunate that as Pales-
tinians continue to demonstrate non-
violently on a mass scale, the only
thing the Israelis are offering them is
more occupation, more killings, more
oppression, and more taxes.

By Cecelia E. Ober
When they're not out making a showy
display of their denial -of women's repro-
ductive choice by blocking the entrances
to women's health clinics, "Right-to-Life"
forces are quietly running their own
"clinics". Unlike appeals to the electoral
process or clinic blockades, the operation
of phony abortion clinics as a means to
stop abortion is one method anti-choice
groups would prefer not to catch the pub-
lic eye.
Anti-abortion crisis pregnancy centers
demand a fraudulent public representation
in order to be successful. These are not
centers designed to help those women
who, on their own initiative, are seeking
alternatives to abortion. On the contrary,
these crisis pregnancy centers were explic-
itly designed to intercept women who are
considering abortion. They then may be
subjected to psychological pressure, anti-
abortion propaganda and sometimes
outright lies to force them to carry a preg-
nancy to term. In order to accomplish this,
however, it is essential that these centers
appear to be clinics that do offer abortion.
There are over two thousand such cen-
ters modelled after Robert J. Pearson's
manual, "How to Start and Operate Your
Own Pro-Life Outreach Crisis Pregnancy
Center." Local anti-choice centers, Preg-
nancy Counseling Center and Ann Arbor
Pregnancy Counseling are situated near
area high schools at 2959 Packard, Ypsi-
lanti and 660 W. Stadium, respectively.
In his manual and workshops, Pearson
advocates'an array of deceptive and some-
times illegal strategies; the purpose of
which is to attract "abortion-bound moth-
ers", as he calls them, and prevent them
from exercising an informed choice regard-
ing their pregnancy. He recommends that
these clinics choose a neutral sounding
name and establish themselves in close
proximity to an authentic reproductive
health care clinic. By offering free walk-in
services and by locating near high schools,
these centers often take advantage of

women with the least resources. Pearson
advocates both hiding a minor from her
parents to stop an abortion, as well as
contacting the parents of the young
woman who is suspected of going else-
where for an abortion. Such acts are
clearly illegal, but the Pearson manual
reads, "You may have violated a law of the
state but the law of God is more impor-
tant!"
In California, there is an injunction
against the Pearson Foundation preventing
them from aiding and abetting the illegal
activities of any anti-abortion center.
There are lawsuits against anti-choice
pregnancy centers in several states includ-
ing California, Missouri, North Dakota,
New York and Texas.
During an actual visit to a Pearson-style
crisis pregnancy center, the staff delay re-
porting results of pregnancy tests so that
they have time to "counsel" the client and
show her a slide presentation. The presen-
tation, featuring national Right-to-Life
leaders, shows pictures of dead fetuses and
gives false information and statistics on
abortion. Abortion is said to cause steril-
ity and permanent emotional scars. Such
advise runs counter to national studies that
show no increased risk of infertility as a
result of first trimester abortions.
National studies also report that an
overwhelming majority of women experi-
ence a sense of relief following an abor-
tion. Even the maker of the Right-to-Life
film, "The Silent Scream", Dr. Bernard
Nathanson, has publically testified that
abortion (which is 7 to 10 times safer
than pregnancy) is a safe procedure.
These anti-abortion crisis pregnancy
centers are normally not licensed medical
facilities and rarely have staff with coun-
seling degrees or experience. In an Ann
Arbor News expose of Pregnancy Coun-
seling Center in Ypsilanti, only two of
ten volunteers who served as counselors
were found to have professional degrees in
counseling. While at the same time, the
staff of Ann Arbor Pregnancy Counseling
are all members of the same church.
Though these centers continue to be ad-
vertised in the yellow pages under birth

control information, they do not advocate
the use of contraceptives. Women are in-
stead advised to abstain from sex (outside
of marriage). In justifying this approach to
an Ann Arbor News reporter, Sue Man-
ney, president of Pregnancy Counseling
Center, said, "we think it does not help a
teenager or single woman to encourage her
to seek contraception because it can lead to
things such as pregnancy and sexually
transmitted diseases...."
Often the woman is encouraged to wait
before making the decision to have an
abortion. Of course, by waiting, a woman
may risk a more dangerous and expensive
second trimester abortion. Sometimes the
"waiting game" is successfully used to
deny a woman the abortion altogether.
In San Francisco, a pregnant 15 year old
still wanted the abortion that she origi-
nally sought at one anti-choice center --
despite the staff's admonitions that she
would suffer severe consequences. She was
told by the staff that an abortion would be
arranged. Instead they had her return to the
clinic for repeat visits until it was too late.
for the abortion.
In their aim and tactics, the anti-choice
abortion pregnancy counseling centers re-
veal the misogynist side of the anti-abor-
tion movement that its "pro-life" rhetoric
seeks to obscure. Although the Right-to-
Life movement has found it politically
wise to move away from condemning
women as murderers, it still harbors a de-
meaning attitude toward women.
By claiming women need to be educated
and are "victims of (their own) choices",
the Right-to-Life movement trivializes
those choices and the experiences from
which they arise. Under the guise of help-
ing women, these centers prey on tlh
most uninformed and helpless of women
in a campaign of deception. Rather than
aiding the woman with a difficult choice,
they strive to convince her, by whatever
means, that she has more. ,

4 lw

ri

-,w

Cecelia Ober is a member of Ann Arbr
Coalition to Defend Abortion Righis
(AACDAR).

.6

Right-to

-Life

promotes

lies

.6
*

&OV-UP 6FOM YO %E 71/AT - --
WF 1ECANfT TAI/KU/NTL YU fWNEV9Loat/'

By Julie Subrin and Debbie
Lotstein
As supporters of informed choice, we
wish to challenge the information pre-
sented in the Daily article on this week-
end's Right-to-Life conference. Much of
what abortion opponents preach as truth
can easily be disputed by looking at
women's experiences. Perhaps most mis-
leading are their claims regarding "post-
abortion syndrome" and the issue of
parental consent.
The "Right-to-Lifers" consistently refer
to "post-abortion syndrome" as a docu-
mented psychological phenomenon. Yet
their claims are unfounded. Following an
extensive review of the existing literature,
researcher Brian Wilcox of the American
Psychiatric Association concluded that
"there was no evidence at all for the exis-
tence of the 'post-abortion syndrome"'
(Science, Feb., 1989). Indeed, studies
show a higher incidence of depression in
women following childbirth than after
having had an abortion.
This is not to invalidate the experiences
of those women who have felt guilt or de-
pression after terminating their pregnan-
cies, but to recognize that most women
feel relief - not regret - after making
this choice. Furthermore, the way that a
woman feels about terminating her preg-
nancy does not depend solely on the abor-
tion procedure itself. Financial status, re-

ligious beliefs, the support she receives
from others and her sense of self-worth are
only a few of the variables that determine
a woman's reaction to the procedure. In
order to make an informed decision, a
woman must be able to express her feel-
ings openly, to ask questions of, and to
share her concerns with, an unbiased and
trained counselor. She must have viable
alternatives in her life, including access to
safe, legal and affordable abortions.
Those who oppose a woman's right to
control her own body do not agree; they
say abortion is the wrong decision for .y-
= woman. They have done everything
possible to make this option inaccessible,
especially for poor and young women.
Their position denies individuals the right
to choose for themselves.
The Right-to-Life position on parental
consent similarly denies women the right
to make a careful decision about whether
or not abortion is the best choice for
them. The Michigan parental consent bill
would require teenage women to get signed
permission from both parents before hav-
ing an abortion.
Parental consent bills at first appear to
be a good idea, as they supposedly will
improve family communications. How-
ever, a closer analysis quickly reveals their
inherent faults. What about daughters who
have been sexually assaulted by their fa-
thers? What about girls being raised by
only one parent? Family communication
cannot be legislated. If a teenage girl
wants to terminate her pregnancy and

knows her parents will not consent, shy
will put herself at risk by attaining an il-
legal abortion. If she has money and flexi-
bility, she may delay the procedure anil
travel to another state in order to terminate
her pregnancy.
Abortion opponents insist that pregnadt
teens are not mature enough to make their
own choices. Yet their solution is to force
these so-called immature teens into early
motherhood. Will a young woman who
they believe lacks the responsibility
needed to make her own decision be r6-
sponsible enough to raise a child? Moto-
erhood does not automatically confer ma-
turity. Once again, the logic of those who
clair tc, be "pro-life" eludes us. Clearly,
they co not seek improved familial rel-
tions. They are motivated by the desire to
inflict their views on others--to make
abortions exceedingly difficult, if not im-
possible, to obtain--even if this means e4-
dangering the lives of young women.
We know that women will always find a
way to terminate their unwanted pregnan-
cies. They have done so for centuries.
Rather than deny this reality, rather than
deny women their rights, we must offer
women all the resources and information
that they need to make their own informed
choices about their bodies and their lives.
S10

Julie Subrin and Debbie Lotstein are
members of AACDAR.

Lte s t th . . . . . ........... .................1...4.... ".wA1".
S.. .

DbU n
Attend a Day-Long Conference on Reproductive Rights
Tomorrow. Saturdav. October 20 from 10-- 5.30l

Opinion:
Coverage
Unfair
To the Daily:
I was very disappointed with
your article covering the
statewide Right-to-Life conven-

ventions are not welcome in
our town. As a member of
AACDAR, I resent that the
Daily did not mention our suc-
cessful picket. In the future,
the Daily should be more care-
ful to provide complete and ac-
curate news coverage.
- Erika Marcus
Member of AACDAR
October 18

that these extraordinary hous-
ing opportunities exist. As you
correctly wrote, the French
House does show films every
other Tuesday, but so does the
German House - that's why we
alternate!
This fall each of the lan-
guage houses is sponsoring a
series of events; for the Ger-
man House it is the annual Ok-
tnhaerfe u w hicwllh h eald

guage house living, we invite
you to the special fall events,
the films, and even to dinner, if
you call first to let us know
you would like to visit. An
important aspect of each house
is the sense of community
which develops among the 30
residents.
The houses are cooperatively
run, which means that all are
.r.ennnih h- .r nmP . A.r

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