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October 16, 1998 - Image 5

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The Michigan Daily, 1998-10-16

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LOCAL/STATE

The Michigan Daily -Friday, October 16, 1998 - 5

Project Vote
Smart releases
test results

Teen pregnancy
rate on the decline

LANSING (AP) - Project Vote
Smart played 40 questions with state
political candidates to test their politi-
cal accountability. The results;
Michigan politicians largely scored
above the national average.
The state's gubernatorial candi-
dates - Republican Gov. John Engler
and Democratic candidate Geoffrey
Fieger - both responded, giving a
100-percent participation rate. The
national average is 80 percent, said
Richard Kimball, executive director.
Project Vote Smart, a non-partisan
nonprofit organization based in
Corvallis, Ore., puts the responses on
its Web site to help voters decide who
they will support in November,
Kimball said.
The survey posed questions
about candidates' positions on a
wide range of issues such as taxes,
health and campaign finance reform.
Altogether, 238 state candidates
answered the survey.
About 57 percent of Michigan's
state legislative candidates responded
to the questions, more than the nation-

al average of 45 percent, he said.
The only candidate group that
dipped below the national average
were those running for the U.S. House.
In Michigan, 70 percent of candidates
responded, compared with 72 percent
nationwide.
Of Michigan's 16 incumbent U.S.
representatives, four did not com-
plete the survey. Veteran U.S. Reps.
Dale Kildee (D-Flint), David Bonior
(D-Mount Clemens) and Sander
Levin (D-Royal Oak) did not
respond. First-term U.S. Rep.
Carolyn Cheeks Kilpatrick also
failed to return a survey.
Adelaide Elm, National Political
Awareness Test Director, said each
candidate received the survey by mail
and fax and were sent at least two
other reminders and five to six tele-
phone calls urging a response.
"Each individual citizen needs to
decide for themselves what that
means," Elm said. "It's like blowing
off the person who is interviewing you
for a job. I think it's arrogant."
Dan Kildee, the campaign man-

DETROIT (AP) - Michigan's teen
birth rate fell 16 percent over five years,
and the Michigan Department of
Community Health is crediting a
statewide campaign to persuade young-
sters to abstain from sex for the drop.
The birth rate for Michigan girls
and women ages 15 through 19 stood at
47.5 per 1,000 in 1996, the latest year
for which figures are available, the
department said yesterday.
That is down from 56.6 per 1,000 in
1991.
Pregnancies, including those ending
in abortion or miscarriage, fell 20 per-
cent in the period. They went from 96.4
per 1,000 teen girls and women in 1991
to 77.2 per 1,000 in 1996, the depart-
ment said.
Nationwide, the teen birth rate fell
13 percent over the same period. It went
from a 20-year high of 62.1 per 1,000 in
1991 to 54.4 per 1,000 in 1996, accord-
ing to a report by the Alan Guttmacher
Institute. The nonprofit institute
researches reproductive health issues.
Fewer teens are getting pregnant
because fewer are having sex and more
of those who do have sex use birth con-
trol, the group said.
"A lot of the messages that have
been put out about the importance of
delaying sexual activity ... seem to be
having an effect," said Susan Tew, a
spokesperson for the institute.

The Michigan Abstinence
Partnership has been a key factor in the
state's decline, said Geralyn Lasher of
the Department of Community Health.
"It's grassroots groups, with the
people in the city of Detroit or the city
of Saginaw saying what will work for
their kids," Lasher said. "What works in
Battle Creek may not work in Traverse
City, and what works in Flint may not
work in Lansing."
Including births, miscarriages and
abortions, 101 per thousand of females
nationwide between ages 15 and 19
were pregnant in 1995.
The teen pregnancy rate hit a high
of 117 per thousand teen-age girls in
1990. The 1995 rate is the lowest since
1975, the study said.
"This clearly shows that through the
mid-'90s we have a dramatic drop in
the teen pregnancy rate ... and that's
very important' Tew said. "But we
have to put that in the context of where
we were to begin with, which is that we
have one of the highest teen pregnancy
rates of all industrialized countries"
The abortion rate fell from 42.1 per
thousand teen-age girls in 1990 to 31.2
per thousand girls in 1995, the institute
said. It had hovered around 44 per thou-
sand during the 1980s.
The report mirrors results
announced in July by the U.S. Centers
for Disease Control and Prevention.

AP PHOTO
Richard Kimball, executive director of Project Vote Smart, reviews data on
state politicians accountability in Lansing yesterday.

ager and nephew of I1-term repre-
sentative Kildee, said his candidate's
non-response has nothing to do with
arrogance, but with time.
"The number of surveys we get
now has quintupled," Dan Kildee said.
"There are scores of these extensive
candidate surveys. We had to do a
triage three weeks ago to respond to

some of these."
To keep up with the demand for
issue statements, Dan Kildee said
the campaign first responds to
groups with a presenn the district,
such as local newspapers and groups
like the American Medical
Association, whose member doctors
work in the area.

.Case against human rights group dropped

LANSING (AP) - Michigan's attorney gener-
al's office yesterday said it doesn't plan to pursue
its case against a human rightsgroup that refused
to provide the state with information on the
alleged abuse of female prison inmates.
The attorney general's office had issued a sub-
poena against New York-based Human Rights
Watch asking for information the group used to
prepare a report alleging rampant sexual abuse at
Michigan's two women's prisons.
In issuing the subpoena, the attorney general's
office was acting on behalf of the Michigan
Department of Corrections, which was sued by a
group of female inmates in 1997. The case has not
yet gone to trial.
Human Rights Watch refused to comply with
the subpoena. Instead, the American Civil
Liberties Union announced Wednesday that it
would represent Human Rights Watch against the
*ttorney general's office, saying the group relies
on its ability to keep its sources confidential.
"Human Rights Watch, like the media, issues
reports to the public and is protected by the First
Amendment from being forced to reveal confi-
dential sources," Michigan ACLU Director Kary
Moss said in a statement.
Attorney general spokesperson Marion Gorton
said yesterday that the state would not pursue the

"In most states, the problem's acknowledged and
the state makes an attempt to deal with it."
H Widney Brown
Human Rights Watch attorney

case further.
"We do not intend to become distracted from
our duties in this case by protracted litigation over
whether your client is required to produce the
information sought by our subpoena," Assistant
Attorney General Mark Matus wrote in a letter to
the ACLU's attorney.
"We do, however, question the accuracy of the
assertion that Human Rights Watch is engaged in
journalism or functioning in the role of a journal-
ist."
The Human Rights Watch report, released in
September, details allegations of sexual abuse by
guards at Michigan's two women's prisons.
The report also alleges retaliation by guards
who were implicated by female inmates, includ-
ing verbal and sexual harassment and loss of priv-
ileges and visiting rights.
In one case, a female inmate told Human
Rights Watch she was subjected to as many as 88

frisks a month by guards after she told officials
she had been sexually assaulted by a guard. She
said officers would also verbally threaten her as
she was being frisked.
Before she reported the alleged abuse, the
inmate said she had been frisked about once a
month.
Human Rights Watch attorney Widney Brown
said she has been surprised by Michigan's resis-
tance to confront alleged abuses in its prisons.
Brown said the state has denied allegations in
previous Human Rights Watch reports.
Most recently, Gov. John Engler refused a June
meeting with a United Nations investigator who
had requested a visit to Michigan's women's pris-
ons.
"In most states, the problem's acknowledged and
the state makes an attempt to deal with it," Brown
said. "Michigan keeps shocking me because they do
anything but address the problem."

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*THEFT
Continued from Page 1
the Etherlock System.
The Etherlock system would replace
the fiberoptic system the CAEN labs
have now.
Currently, the fiberoptic system
is located through out all CAEN
labs and is connected to an alarm
system.
Muckler said the new system will
Orotect the base of the computer and
decrease the number theft of false
alarms.
Muckler said the new system is locat-

ed in the cable within the computer.
Muckler said that if someone unplugs the
Ethernet connection, an alarm would
sound.
Sarrica said they are now keeping
paper under "lock and key" and having
more Information Technology Division
workers check residence halls several
times a day.
Although the University has
sophisticated methods to secure
their systems, individuals should
take proper precautions to protect
their computers.
"I can't stress enough to secure your
residence," AAPD Sgt. Michael Logey
said.

*by The Michigan Daily Readership Poll

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