The daily Nebraskan. ([Lincoln, Neb.) 1901-current, July 02, 1992, Summer, Page 2, Image 2

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Abortion decision fair
Supreme Court's ruling right for women
Those advocating pro-choice and pro-life views of abor
tion knew before the Supreme Court decision was made
on Monday, that whatever it may be, it was not going to
be pleasing to everyone.
But when the decision was made to uphold the 1973 Roe vs.
Wade decision and to also allow states to impose restrictions, it
caused both sides of the issue to reel.
Wanda Franz, president of the National Right to Life
Committee, said the ruling was “a loss for unborn children and
a victory for pro-abortion forces.”
This is what one would expect the view to be, coming from
someone supporting the right to life.
But strangely, those who support the right to choose were
also upset by the ruling.
David J. Andrews, acting president of Planned Parenthood,
said that the he believed the Supreme Court “took another giant
step backward,” when it ruled the state of Pennsylvania could
keep its abortion provisions.
Those provisions include telling women seeking abortions
about fetal development and alternatives to abortion, mandat
ing a 24-hour waiting period, requiring doctors to keep detailed
records subject to public disclosure and ordering unmarried
women under the age of 18 to obtain parental consent or that ol
a state judge.
Judith L. Lichtman, president of Women’s Legal Defense
Fund, said that, "American women no longer have the funda
mental right to make decisions about their own lives."
Wait a minute. Didn’t the court uphold a woman’s right to
obtain an abortion?
With or without a waiting periotf or parental consent or
public funding, women still have a right to an abortion. If they
want an abortion, and are still willing to have one after getting
parental or spouse consent or waiting a certain length of time,
they still have the right to get an abortion.
It doesn’t hurt to be sure about such a serious decision.
It’s not like the right was completely taken away. The
decision could have been revoked, as many people promoting
the pro-choice movement feared that this alleged conservative
court might rule.
But the court didn’t.
Some have suggested that maybe the pro-choice coalition
was not going to be happy about any decision that came out of
this court. And when the decision was made to uphold abor
tion rights, they needed something else to be agitated about.
But whatever the case may be, it was Kathryn Kolbert from
the Center for Reproductive Law and Policy, who represented
Planned Parenthood in the lawsuit against Pennsylvania, who
gave the most sensible response for the group supporting the
right to choose.
“We arc gratified that they did not go as far as they could
have gone in taking away rights from all American women.”
ine uaiiy Nebraskan welcomes
brief letters to the editor from all read
ers and interested others.
Letters will be selected for publica
tion on the basisofclarity, originality,
timeliness and space available. The
Daily Nebraskan retains the right to
edit or reject all material submitted.
Readers also arc welcome to sub
mil material as guest opinions.
Whether material should run as a let
ter or guest opinion is left to the edi
tor’s discretion.
Letters and guest opinions sent to
the newspaper become the properly
of the Daily Nebraskan and cannot be
Anonymous submissions will not
be considered for publication. Letters
should include the author’s name,
year in school, major and groupaffil i
ation, if any. Requests to withhold
names will not be granted.
Submit material to the Daily Ne
braskan, 34 Nebraska Union, 1400 R
St., Lincoln, Neb. 68588-0448.
■ 9
Politics synonymous with press
Today, 1 will examine the role of
the “cultural elite,” the term
which Vice President Dan
Quayle used when trying to put the
press hounds at bay. The double hit of
his Murphy Brown attack and his
scolding of a school boy misspelling
Quayle’s imaginatively spelled
“potatoe” put Quayle at even greater
verbal combat with his enemies.
The press corps has diligently kept
recording his every blunder, and late
night comedians make fun every time
they sense an continuation of Quayle’s
unintentional role as White House
court jester.
The Murphy Brown episode was a
watershed event for the media elite, in
which category I will include people
that are cither journalists or late-night
More importantly, it made for an
easy debut as columnist for a new
member of the media elite, namely
The media almost takes joy in cov
eringcharacter politicians likeQuayle,
to the point that one wonders what the
media would do without them.
we in America have our news
flashpoints, where the media seem to
converge on one topic, usually some
breaking disaster, human or nature
We have had in the last year the
Anita Hill/Clarcnce Thomas episode,
Mike Tyson’s trip through the crimi
nal justice system, William Kennedy
Smith’s dalliance and judgment day,
Gcnnifer Flowers’ alleged revelations
as Gov. Bill Clinton’s other woman,
the L. A. Riot and, locally, the contro
versy over the search for the new
athletic director of the quasi-sacrcd
Big Red.
In all cases, the firestorms are
meant to hit people’s hot buttons,
whether they involve sex, violence,
religion, race, fame, money, power,
chicken wings, all of the aforemen
tioned or none of them.
To resurrect an old media firestorm,
one can examine Gennifer Flower’s
fifteen minutes of fame. The media
elite had been tumbling in rumors of
Clinton’s infidelity before they hit a
valid source, Flower’s self-expose in
the tabloid the Star, for which she was
handsomely paid. The press diverted
Clinton’s campaign withqueslionsof
womanizing, when before they could
hardly care to cover his policy stands.
Now he was on stage front with the
elite truth watchdogs plaintively
scoping out his pant’s zipper. The
salacious material and the media’s
sleazy obsession with a politician’s
personal morality made the show all
the more interesting and sad for the
unlucky bystander, the hapless reader/
viewer/voter, America’s all-around
Being hit by the media made the
clever Clinton strike back strategi
cally, using the post Super Bowl 60
minutes as his forum where he care
fully spoke to the charges. The Ameri
can public may not have come to any
concise understanding of Clinton’s
policy stands, but they may well have
come to detailed opinion about his
romantic lives and/or lies.
The politician, who needs to get
the word and the spin out to ostensibly
and hopefully gullible people every
where, needs the media, who in turn
need him. They use and abuse each
other, sometimes traipsing together
through the beautiful tulips but more
often tussling together in the sewage
of humanity.
Yes, politicians and the media go
together symbolically, much like fun
gus and algae form the lichen, only
more smelly and ugly in substance.
Although politiciansareoflcncriii
cized for taking the easy way out and
not planning beyond the short term,
journalists also often take the easy
road, partly because that is human
Establishment media were just as
oblivious to urban poverty as were
establishment politicians, that is until
the L.A. riot woke people up lo the
desperation, futility and rage that had 1
as its base poverty and inequality. ■
Then, the pundits of the press were m
quick to slight politicians for long 1
ignoring urban problems.
Now, media coverage of urban
poverty and racial injustice arc al
most where they were before, being
ignored. Out of sight, out of mind.
Heaven help us if we need violent
outbursts before we can see there arc
problems out there that need to be
fixed without delay. Ignorance is not
bliss, but is being willfully blind to the
world beyond one’s selfish concerns.
There is a positive side to these
media firestorms in that, occasion
ally, the public can become better
informed on important issues. We
learned about what is sexual harass
ment in the workplace and had a
national debate on the varying de
grees when the Hill/Thomas episode
hit the fan.
we learned more aoout airiai n
brillation and Graves’ Disease when
President Bush had his scary medical
malady, which also made us more
fully realize that, indeed, Quaylc is
one faulty heartbeat away from the
While much of the news the Ameri
can consumer is fed is redundant,
superficial and exploitive, we can still
get information and value out of it.
We merely have to be as vigilant and
critical of the press as we are of Wash
By gosh, maybe even Quayle’s
shrill statement about the subversive
“cultural elite” started a process that
taught me something, but he sure left
me a lot of room for independent
learning. Imagine that: Professor
Quayle assigned me a paper. Perhaps
he will read this after he learns how to
spell “potato.”
Todd Burger Is a junior philosophy major
and a Daily Nebraskan columnist.