The Michigan Daily w
Courts dispute privacy laws without recognizing women's reproductive rights
Roe is not the feminist answer
IN 1973, the Supreme Court handed Some of these interpretations ously affirming the state's interest in Planned Parenthood of Missouri v. tant not to pretend that Roe is the
down what has been considered a stem from a 1942 Court decision in "protecting potential life." More- Danforth were decided by the Court.. perfect decision.
"landmark" decision in the Roe v. Skinner v. Oklahoma which struck over, the Court decision to strike Most courts in this country ap- Pro-choice advocates must push
Wade case. In the public eye; this down a state law allowing court-or- down the Texas statute which made proached the Roe, Doe and Planned the legal system to deal with rela-
case in essence legalized as well as dered sterilization. The majority it a crime "to procure, to attempt to Parenthood decisions on the issue of tionships between individuals that
affirmed a woman's right to make opinion proclaimed: "We are dealing perform or to furnish the means to "viability" of the fetus. Once states don't necessarily fall under a
the decision (along with her doctor) here with legislation which involves procure" an abortion, established its established a vague notion of life "contract." The contract most exclu-
to have an abortion. Some have one of the basic civil right of man. majority ruling under the "zone of outside the womb, they were able to sive of women in this country is the
viewed Roe v. Wade as recognition Marriage and procreation are funda- privacy" created by the due process show compelling interest in protect- Constitution.
by the "Supreme Law of the Land" mental to the very existence and clause of the 14th Amendment. (The ing the "life" of both woman and The merits of the Roe case were
of a woman's right to her body. survival of the race" (New Mexico Journal of Legal Medicine, Vol. 4, child (in most cases, the "unborn" decided upon a body of literature
.__was considered first). Attempts to which still guarantees rights to lib-
But Roe is not a case which is sabotage Roe v. Wade by individual erty, justice, etc., to men but denies
based upon any idea of a woman's The contract most exclusive of women in this states ranged from narrowing the pe- them categorically to woman. This
"fundamental right" to protect her country is the Constitution.' riod during which abortion was is where Roe looses its "viability,"
body and to decide what's going to actually legal, to restricting state for viability is not a matter of the
be done with it. Rather, the Court's monies to those institutions which fetus alone.
decision focuses more upon protec- Law Review, Winter 1987, 119; No. 3, 1983, 273). performed abortions on a regular ba- The Supreme Court, as the
tion of an individual from state in- emphasis added). In other words, Blackmun went so far as to argue sis. The issue of state funding first "higher" model for our judicial sys-
tervention in private matters. The there is little legislation left to pro- that the 14th or 9th Amendments' arose in 1977 in the Maher v. Roe tem, needs to be coerced into finally
ruling opinion is vaguely sex-spe- tect the woman who finds herself guarantee of freedom from state in- case, laying the ground work for making a decision to "decide" on is-
cific. pregnant outside of marriage con- tervention and people's rights was legislation against Medicaid funded sues of the body and people's right
tracts - for it is solely through this broad enough to encompass a abortions in many states, including to treatment. Unfortunately, the
The opinion in Roe v. Wade is contract that women become visible woman's right to terminate her Michigan's Proposal A. Webster case currently before the
filled with conservative interpreta- in the Constitution. pregnancy. In all reality, the U.S. Much of the debate about Roe v. Supreme Court is another example
tions of the Constitution that deal Constitution does not pretend to be Wade and subsequent Court decision of the emphasis on state interest in-
with a woman's "right to choose" in To complicate matters, the word- in'clusive of women, let alone their has happened behind the closed doors stead of a woman's right to choose.
terms of constitutional standards of ing of Justice Blackmun's majority right to control or protect, unless of the legal system. What reaches To make a decision in which a
privacy, and the contract established opinion in Roe v. Wade included with a gun, both body and mind. the media is the hype and sensation- woman is denied a right to treat her
between "man and wife" (not woman contradictory concepts like the de- Subsequent mayhem in the lower alism of anti-abortion advocates, body as she likes is to legislate, and
alone, or even woman and man, but termination of "viability" of the fe- courts ensued after Roe and its com- rather than the facts of the case it- more specifically, legislate against
woman as his wife) in marriage. tus by physicians, while simultane- panion cases, Doe v. Bolton and self. Therefore, it is vitally impor-' the "body" of a woman.
Gargoyle: its not funny
PICK A page, any page, and be of-
fended. When you thought it
couldn't be done the Gargoyle
magazine out-did itself this year in
offensiveness. Its authors seem to
believe that racist, sexist, and ho-
mophobic drawings and "articles" are
not only funny, but worthy of print
and the price of two dollars an issue.
Even if you didn't buy a copy,
you had to walk past Gargoyle
staffers waving the offensive neon-
green cover on the Diag. The cover
portrays a white man, strangling a
Black child with a snake. The cap-
tion is "FEAR." The image is remi-
niscent of the long history of lynch-
ings. It is meant to evoke fear and
implies that the subjugation of peo-
ple of color is funny.
Clearly the editors of the Gargoyle
find it funny since the rest of the
magazine is full of cartoons,
advertisements and articles which at-
tack many racial groups and
perpetuate harmful stereotypes.
Among the supposedly comical
pages are "News Briefs" portraying
an "no armed drummer" as the latest
recipient of "Affirmative Action" -
trivializing both the struggles of
differently-abled students at the Uni-
versity and the aims of Affirmative
Action; an advertisement showing a
nude woman in a hammock, ac-
companied by references to bondage;
a drawing of a man who would "kill
for a lay", further perpetuating vio-
lence against women; and one of a
Black child saying "I kill people",
stereotyping Blacks as murderers.
A cartoon by "Dick Brown" por-
trays sex between gay men as vio-
lent and degrading. Other cartoons
portray Native Americans as igno-
rant and gullible, and Asians as bar-
baric and uncivilized. Not only did
the editors print this last cartoon,
but they even captioned it "offensive
stereotype", indicating that they were
well aware of its intent and effect -
which is the concluding reason why
the Gargoyle is so insidious.
Its intent is to find "humor" in the
"FEAR" of oppressed people. By
depicting the violence against op-
pressed people as a fit subject for
light humor, the Gargoyle's effect is
to minimize the seriousness of the
violence, and to perpetuate the
racism, sexism and heterosexism
which propagate the violence.
Issue Daily politics
I AN ARTICLE entitled, "The Year But this isn't the only instance
of Writing Dangerously," The De- where journalism that editorializes
troit News (4/19/89) mentioned the against human rights abuses is
violent reprisals taken against the marginalized by mainstream media.
Daily for editorially supporting In the late 1960's, Wayne State
Palestinian self-determination. These University's student newspaper, The
include a brick with a threatening South End, took a progressive stance
message thrown through an editor's on issues including racism, the
bedroom window.and vandalism of Vietnam War, and the P.L.O. In re-
the Student Publications Building. sponse, Wayne State President Keast
began to take action against the pa-
One form of retaliation the News per. The Detroit Free Press and The
neglected to mention, though, is the Detroit News endorsed Keast's at-
neglect of the mainstream media to tacks. (Detroit: I Do Mind Dying,
recognize why such attacks have Chap. 3)
been waged against the Daily - be- The patronizing tone the News '
cause of its editorial stance on uses implies that what the Daily
Palestinian human rights. The needs is a faculty-advisor. This is
News' article is itself an excellent especially timely when it is consid-
example of this. ered together with the subtle threats
The News attributes the violent by President Duderstadt last semester
attacks to the Daily being "run by a to censure students' voices in the
bunch of kids" who aren't "playing Daily. This action would effectively
the game according to the rules of shut down the Daily as a student-run
good journalism," rather than to the newspaper, ending almost a century
Daily's editorial stances. Supporting of student-editorial freedom. And
human rights in the occupied such freedom fosters exactly the kind
territories and elsewhere, implies the of critical, intelligent thinking that
News, constitutes proof of intellec- is a hallmark of the kind of "good"
tual immaturity and journalistic in- journalism the News claims to stand
Edited and managed by students of the University of Michigan
Vol. XCIX, No. 1-S 420 Maynard St.
Ann Arbor, MI 48109
Unsigned editorials represent a majority of the Daily's Editorial Board. All other
cartoons, signed arces, and letters do not necessarily represent the opinion
Of the Daily.