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July 28, 1989 - Image 6

Resource type:
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Publication:
Michigan Daily Summer Weekly, 1989-07-28

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OPINION

Adak

Pa t .

The Michigan Daily y

r ayts cr
n

I c
- n
A fate worse than debt;
AMIDST ALL the hooplah accom- debt payments "kill more people
panying the recent debt reduction ac- than wars."
cord between the United States and Nor is this idle rhetoric. Brazil has
Mexico, it is more necessary than been forced to severely cut back on,
ever to question both the parameters its provision of social services, lead-
of the Brady Plan within which the ing to a situation in which two-
accord was constructed and, more thirds of the country's families live
significantly, the very logic demand- below the poverty line [set at $75
ing that the debt be repaid at all. For dollars a month] and an astounding
that logic forgets that the Third 300,000 children die each year before
World has already paid its debt-cur- reaching their first birthday.
rently estimated at close to $400 bil- rahn
lion-and then some through oner- Things aren't much better in
ous interest payments. Mexico. A recent United Nations
Take Brazil, for example. study concluded that more than half
According to Brazil's National of all Mexicans, or some 42.5 mil-
Council of Christian Churches, lion people, now live below interna-
Brazil paid $176 billion in debt ser- tional nutrition standards. Only one
vice from 1972 to 1988, more than in five rral children less than four
the $124 billion it currently owes. years old is of normal weight and
And between 1980 and 1987, Brazil stature. Mexico's heralded accord-
paid out $50.7 billion more in debt actually offering only 13% reduction
payments than it received in new on the country's debt mountain--
loans, cannot begin to address these prob-
Such figures quickly cut away the lems.
Bush Administration's rhetoric about Latin America cannot move this
how countries such as Brazil cannot mountain through faith in
be considered eligible for new loans Washington, but must, rather, do so
because they have not developed through a combined and unilateral
"serious economic policies." Serious debt moratorium. Only leftist parties
according to who? The sobering con- such as the Workers Party (PT) in
sequences of Brazil's attempt to meet Brazil or the Cardenista movement
its supposed obligations include al- and the Socialist Workers Party
most a decade of only 1% growth, (PRT) in Mexico are committed to
the use of as much as 97% of its such a suspension. Those committed
trade surplus to feed the debt ma- to Latin America's emancipation
chine, and, in the words of Workers should extend solidarity to them as
Party Presidential Candidate Luis the only forces capable of giving
Inacio da Silva, a situation where Latin American peoples a future.
Edited and managed by students of the University of Michigan
Vol. XCIX, NO.t10-S 420 Maynard St.
Ann Arbor, MI 48109
"'signed editorials represent a majority of the Daily's Editorial Board. All other
toons, signed articles, and letters do not necessarily represent the opinion
of the Daily.

Poor choice:
Anti-choice and class warfare

ONE WEEK after the Webster deci- hospitals or by public-employed
sion a package of legislation further medical personnel.
restricting abortion rights was pro- 'Prohibit state employees from
posed by Michigan state senators counseling welfare recipients on
Jack Welborn R-Kalamazoo and Fred abortion.
Dillingham R-Fowlerville. -End medical insurance coverage
The bills follow in the tradition of for abortions for the state's 65,000
seventeen previously vetoed mea- employees and their dependents.
sures to restrict abortion rights pro- -Parental consent law for women
posed between 1978 and 1986. If under 18 years of age. If parents
passed, the four bills would further refuse to give consent, the woman
remove access to abortion services would have to seek a waiver from
for poor and working class women. juvenile court.
Currently the right to abortion is The "rationale" that these mea-
tenuously held in the hands of the sures would deter women from hav-
middle and upper classes. Proposal ing abortions is ridiculous. One in
A, passed last November, denies every four pregnancies ends in abor-
poor women the option of safe tion; this percentage has remained
healthcare, making abortions cost- consistent even when abortion was
prohibitive by removing Medicaid illegal in the United States. In coun-
funding for abortions. Consequently, tries where abortion is illegal, one in
poor women are either forced to risk every three pregnancies ends in abor-
their lives with back-alley abortions, tion, thus proving the point that le-
or to delay the abortion until they galized abortion is generally accom-
are able to raise needed funds. panied by an increase in women's
The four proposals before the state awareness of their sexuality and an
hegslaur roos: beeths increase in knowledge and methods
legislature are as follows: of birth control vs. an increase in
-Bar abortion services in public abortions.

Dillingham would like to see the
proposed anti-choice package to be
placed on the 1990 ballot in order to
avoid Blanchard's veto. Such a move
appears to be "democratic" in that it
supposedly puts the issue into the
hands of the people. However, the
encouragement of this by the legisla-
tion is just further proof that the
Michigan state lawmakers are class
biased. For voting, in a country
where elections are controlled by
money more than principles, hardly
constitute the representative democ-
racy which, in the United States, ex-
ists more in rhetoric than in reality.
Those who go to the polls are pre-
dominantly white middle class vot-
ers. The women who would be most
directly effected by the legislation are
not those who vote, poor women
and women of color.
If those in the state government
are truly concerned about abortion
and women's healthcare issues then
they should legislate to make birth
control, and information on
women's healthcare accessible to all
rather than creating obstacles that
further jeopardize women's lives.

e0

0

Supreme Court apartheid
by Rollie Hudson and Victoria Baecher
1964-1989, R.I.P the Civil Rights Movement, then, forced the mative action settlements for white
Rights movement? The United hand of the white policy makers. workers in the city of Birmingham,
States of America is a political insti- One approach to help remedy the Alabama. Here, the legal challenge
tution made strong from a history of State, albeit cosmetic, was to estab- of a white fire fighter against the af-
territorial wars and slavery. Its lish affirmative action laws which firmative action policy of the fire
rulers, all of whom were white and attempted to allow not only Blacks, department was upheld. (Martin v.
male, once claimed manifest destiny. but other oppressed minority groups Wilks)
But who's destiny was manifested, and women in general, the opportu- -On June 12th, the Court decided,
and by whom? Whether it be God or nity to undo hundreds of years of 5 to 3, that challenges against se
the United States Supreme Court, malicious segregation, enslavement, nority systems allegedly discrimina-
minorities and women in general and in the case of Native Americans, tory against Blacks or women must
have come up on the short end of the genocide. be brought within 300 days of their
stick. But the newly stacked Reagan inception. This case involved three
To be enslaved generation after Supreme Court has apparently given women inIllinois who maintain that
generation was to be deprived of cul- up any semblance of a vision of a within the context of working for an
ture and formal education. Following society "by the people, for the peo- employer - usually years - long
the civil war came Jim Crow segre- ple." Within the last six months it enough to gain seniority, to only
gation (after a brief attempt at recon- has rolled back or severely limited an have 300 days to contest is unrea-
struction). Jim Crow segregation unprecedented number of civil rights sonable. (Lorance v. A. T. & .)
legislated "petty" apartheid which, in laws. Of the more significant and 'On June 15ththe Cou severely
turn, perpetuated "deep structure" damaging cases: limited, 51 t, the interpretation of
apartheid.tsOn January 23rd, in a 6 to 3 deci- an 1866 reconstruction law allowing
Petty apartheid kept people apart sion, a Richmond Virginia ordinance only reparations but damages for
on the bus, deep structure apartheid, which set aside 30% of public works employees discriminated against by
or tacit apartheid, however, has contract spending for minority con- their employers. (Patterson v.
maintained vicious cycles of poverty tractors was overturned. (Richmond Mclean Credit Union)
for African-Americans. Black people v. Croson) The recent Supreme Court
were, and still are, prevented from -On June 5th a 5 to 4 decision re- decisions, if they have marked the
gaining standard of living equity. versed a two decade old precedent demise of the Civil Rights
They were prevented from getting concerning burden of proof regarding Movement only in the eyes of the
jobs and bank loans for small busi- business practices alleged to be ra- government, will now do nothing
nesses. Deep structure apartheid, cially, or gender, discriminatory. The but add to the problem.
thus, created the ghettos and from it burden of proof now rests on the
came an unexpectedly popular civil employee. (Wards Cove v. Antonio) Rollie Hudson and Victoria
rights movement in response. -On June 12th, the Court, in an- Baecher are staff writers for the
The African-American Civil other narrow decision, opened affir- Daily.

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