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Measure 43

Argument in Favor

"I WAS LEFT ALL ALONE"

My name is Felicia and I want to share my story with you, in support of Measure 43.

I found myself pregnant at 15 years old. I ran to my boyfriend for support; I thought this was the man I was going to marry. However, he pressured me into having an abortion and said that neither of our parents ever had to know. At the clinic, I was never told what was going to happen or what to expect afterwards, and in the end I WAS ALL ALONE.

I went to the abortion clinic with my boyfriend for a consultation and walked out with an abortion. This was the first time I had been in a medical setting without my mother by my side so I was intimidated, nervous and confused. A woman took us back to a room and gave me two tablets of Valium to calm me. After she left, I followed to get water, but when I turned the knob, it was locked. Because of the drugs, she had to guide my hand as I signed the medical release papers. Then she and my boyfriend helped me walk down the hallway to the operating room.

I know now at 20 years old, I should have involved my parents, but I was 15 and scared. I didn't fear abuse; I was scared of their disappointment. I wish that I would have told my parents I was pregnant, rather than running to my boyfriend and some strangers at an abortion clinic.

Even after finding out about my secret abortion, my parents were still there with open arms helping me through the depression and suicidal thoughts that occurred after. MY BOYFRIEND LEFT ME, BUT MY PARENTS STAYED. Please don't let intimidation and fear of disappointment force girls into isolation. Vote Yes on Measure 43.

Felicia Bautista
Had Abortion at 15 years old
Chief Petitioner of Ballot Measure 43

(This information furnished by Felicia Bautista.)


Argument in Favor

"The clinic told her, if she waited a few weeks to have the abortion she wouldn't have to tell me."

I have received phone calls through the years from anguished mothers who have discovered their teen daughter's secret abortion. The parents were now dealing with the aftermath of an abortion they had known nothing about. "What can be done?" is always the desperate question, followed by the same answer: nothing – no law says a parent has to know. The mothers, each familiar with signing forms so their daughters could go on field trips or have their ears pierced, etc., are outraged.

Women have testified at state legislative hearings supporting parental notification bills. "Just before my daughter turned fifteen she [went] to the school health clinic where they told her she was pregnant, " testified LaVelda. "… the school had called me to ask for permission to give my daughter antibiotics for a bronchial infection. During that same visit, they told her she was pregnant, but they said nothing to me about her pregnancy. [The abortion clinic] told her that if she waited until her fifteenth birthday, she could have an abortion and her parents would not have to be told. So she waited a few weeks and she and her boyfriend went to the center where she had an abortion."

Becky testified why she had her secret abortion: "I didn't want to disappoint them. I didn't want to bring shame on my family." Her boyfriend told her to "get rid of the kid," and then "… from that day on, my life was anything but normal… I became a young girl who drank, smoked, did drugs and was sexually promiscuous."

Pressured by boyfriends, and aided by adults who do not know them, GOOD KIDS of GOOD PARENTS are experiencing these scenarios throughout Oregon. Please protect our teen daughters…vote YES on Measure 43.

Gayle Atteberry
Director of Oregon Right to Life

(This information furnished by Gayle Atteberry, Oregon Right to Life.)


Argument in Favor

MY DAUGHTER was taken advantage of....

Dear Oregonians,

My name is Brenda Cochran. My daughter Felicia had an abortion when she was only 15 years old by an abortion provider in downtown Portland.

We are Chief Petitioners
I am writing today in support of my daughter. This campaign is something that she wanted to participate in. I love my daughter and will always be here for her through all her decisions. Just as I support her today, given the opportunity, I would have been able to be there to care for her when she discovered she was pregnant. But an unregulated process stole that opportunity from me.

Pressured by her Boyfriend
I was shocked and devastated when I found out that my daughter had gone through the experience of an abortion all by herself- and she was so young! But, her boyfriend had pressured her to keep it a secret from the people who loved her the most.

Whisked out of School
I couldn't believe that she could be whisked out of school to have an abortion, without me ever knowing she was not where she was supposed to be. When just months later, I was signing numerous health forms just to run a simple test on my daughter, I was even more shocked that my health insurance had been billed for the procedure, without any notice to a parent! She could have died and I would never have known why!!!

Please help protect Oregon's girls. Please, please, don't let another scared and lonely 15 year old go through what my daughter went through. Give other Oregon parents a chance to support her through the emotional consequences that often occur after an abortion. Parents have the right to give their daughters the unconditional support that only a parent can give. Vote Yes on Measure 43.

Brenda Cochran
Mother of Teen Daughter who had Secret Abortion
Chief Petitioner of Ballot Measure 43

(This information furnished by Brenda Cochran.)


Argument in Favor

Vote Yes on Measure 43 to Protect Our Teen Daughters

44 OTHER STATES HAVE PARENTAL NOTIFICATION LAWS
The Committee to Protect Our Teen Daughters realizes that current law in Oregon allows many teen girls to remain trapped in abusive situations and deprives many of them of the love and support of their parents during a difficult time. Other states know that Parental Notification laws protect young girls! Oregon is one of only six states that do NOT have any Parental Notification laws on the books.

STATUTORY RAPE
Parental Notification combined with the notification bypass, for those not in an ideal family situation, is a way of truly helping ALL victimized girls. According to the 2004 Oregon Vital Statistics, in 29% of underage pregnancies the father was 20 years old or older. With a Parental Notification law these cases of statutory rape can be brought to the attention of parents so victims can get the help they need.

A SIMPLE BYPASS
The law includes a simple and easy-to-navigate bypass that has worked in all the other states to protect those girls who are concerned about parental abuse and bring both sexual predators and physical abusers to justice. Therefore, in cases of incest and rape, the bypass clause allows abusers who are secretly victimizing girls to be exposed. Nothing can be more cruel than to hide the crime by providing a victim with a secret abortion and then sending her back into the same situation to be victimized again.

HELP VICTIMIZED GIRLS
Oregon law already recognizes the fact that up until age 18, parental involvement is expected and necessary to protect our youth. Why should abortion be the only exception to the rule? Let's not abandon teenage girls in their time of need. We urge you to Vote Yes on Measure 43.

The Committee to Protect Our Teen Daughters

(This information furnished by Sarah Nashif, Protect Our Teen Daughters.)


Argument in Favor

"We don't tell our parents because we are terrified to admit we messed up."

Dear Parents,

As a teenage girl, I understand that girls are afraid to tell their parents of their pregnancies, and too many girls have abortions because they feel they don't have any other choice. Please understand, we don't want to tell parents when we wreck the car or get lousy grades, let alone when we find ourselves pregnant. Not because we are afraid of abuse, but because we're terrified to admit we messed up.

It seems easy to consider abortion--- a way to cover mistakes, hide from shame, and hope that no one will ever find out. But the emotional and physical consequences can be great.

Picture your daughter, granddaughter, or your niece, sitting in solitude in a corner of an abortion facility, afraid to ask for help. How many of you are willing to take away responsibility from the parents by allowing these practices to continue in secret?

Furthermore, voting no on Measure 43 would NOT protect girls who are victims of abuse by their fathers, uncles, brothers, or boyfriends. It protects the one who raped her by letting the abortion be done in secret. She will go in alone for the procedure, or be taken by her abuser. She will be abused again, because she is afraid to speak out. And when she has the abortion, it comes from fear, not choice. A simple to navigate bypass in Measure 43 will allow these victims to get the help they need.

The current system breaks down families, by perpetuating the lie that someone else will care better for your daughter then you can. Parental notification gives girls options. It opens communication lines between parents and girls who desperately want to talk to someone, but are shamed, and don't know what to say.

Jessica Rodgers
Oregon Teenager

(This information furnished by Jessica Rodgers.)


Argument in Favor

THE BIBLE SAYS

God created Adam "and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and man became a living soul" (Genesis 2:7).

God says, "I will cause breath to enter into you, and ye shall live" (Ezekiel 37:5).

"The breath of the Almighty hath given me life" (Job 33:4).

LIFE IS SACRED!

Throughout the Bible, the presence of soul in the body coincides with breath (Isaiah 42:5; Ezekiel 37:5; Job 12:10; Job 27:3). "He giveth to all life, and breath" (Acts 17:25).

THE SOUL ENTERS THE BODY AT BIRTH
WITH BABY'S FIRST BREATH.

And when "thou takest away their breath, they die" (Psalms 104:29). At death, God will "gather unto himself [mankind's] spirit and his breath" (Job 34:14).

Everywhere the Bible is clear that the soul enters the body at birth, coinciding with breath.

And nowhere does the Bible condemn abortion!

Life is sacred. But obviously a baby is not a distinct entity separate from its mother until it is born--when God gives it the breath of life and it becomes a living soul.

Abortion does not "kill" a soul--religious guilt-tripping notwithstanding. And even if the soul did enter the body before birth and breath, what kind of God would let "pre-born" souls be "killed" and not give them another chance at life? The "prolifers" have a really sick theology!

But the soulless fetus resembles a human! Well, so does a corpse. Actually, in its early developmental stages, the fetus resembles a fish and then a mammal. There's a car tunnel with exhaust markings that resemble the Virgin Mary. Do resemblances have souls? Shall we worship images? Idols of ourselves!

This argument began in favor, but having examined the biblical evidence, now we're forced to come to this conclusion:

RESPECT THE BIBLE!

And protect our teen daughters
from fundamentalist stupidity!

VOTE NO ON 43!

(This information furnished by M. Dennis Moore, Special Righteousness Committee.)


Argument in Favor

LIFE IS SACRED!

At the moment of fertilization, cells begin to divide and multiply. Every cell contains our DNA-- three billion pieces of genetic information. Every cell is sacred!

The 80 trillion cells in our body are dividing and multiplying all the time. And tragically, some cells die and are replaced. Why, God kills off several hundred billion of your red blood cells every day! But "Thou shalt not kill." Only God may kill your cells.

Every cell is sacred--sperm, egg, embryo, fetus, heart, hair, fingernail. Jesus said, "Even the hairs of your head are all numbered" (Matthew 10:30). Every cell is God's holy creation.

Although the Bible clearly indicates that the cells of the fetus have no soul separate from its mother (see previous argument), abortion nonetheless murders precious living cells.

According to Leviticus, a menstruating woman is unclean. She has wasted an unborn egg that could become a human life. The law should required parental notification of impending unborn uncleanliness.

Every act of masturbation kills up to 500 million unborn lives. Every sperm is sacred! Just like abortion, masturbation murders soulless cells. There should be parental notification prior to masturbation.

According to the Bible, beard shaving (Leviticus 19:27) is every bit as immoral as homosexuality! Just like abortion scrapes away life in the uterus, shaving violently scrapes away and murders millions of living skin cells. Barbershops should be required to give parental notification before committing shaving sin.

Did you know that slaughtering a sacred appendix causes it to feel pain?

The Bible says that children who fail to honor their parents should be stoned to death (Exodus 21:17). Implementing biblical law as Oregon public policy could effectively eliminate teenage abortion, appendectomy, shaving, and sperm-murder.

Every cell is sacred. Every cell--from soulless fetus to fingernail--is a precious life that must not be killed.

VOTE YES TO STOP THE SLAUGHTER
OF THE
HOLY HANGNAILS!

(This information furnished by M. Dennis Moore, Traditional Prejudices Coalition.)


Argument in Favor

MORALITY SHOULD BE PUBLIC POLICY

My friends, common sense dictates that morality should be enforced by legislation. But not just anybody's "morality." Our religion is right, and our morality is the only morality. Therefore, our beliefs should be law--anti-gay, anti-abortion, anti-freedom. It is our sacred duty to interfere in other people's lives. Jesus' commandment to not judge others isn't for us!

AGREE WITH US OR BURN IN HELL!

This measure forces teenagers to bear the children of rapists and molesters, and a proposed 2008 initiative would ban all abortions with no exception to save the life of the mother! There can be no honest disagreement; you are simply wrong!

We've already prohibited religious freedom for gays to marry. And if you believe that the soul doesn't enter the body until birth (see my first argument), we will prohibit you from practicing your religious values.

RELIGIOUS FREEDOM IS LIBERTY FOR IMMORALITY!

Measure 43 further develops democratic dogma for, essentially, the official state religion, another Oregon innovation:

State beaches, the bottle bill, land-use planning, and now
THE OREGON DOGMA!

Behold! Electoral theology prepares the way for a state god! We've got the beaver for a state animal. Wouldn't it be cool to elect our very own Oregon state god?

VOTE YES FOR THE OREGON RELIGION!

www.oregondogma.org

Postscript: They'll scream that these arguments are "deceptive." Rather than address the issues, they'll attack the satiric "in favor" placement, proving that they have no defense against the truth of their demagoguery. God doesn't care what page the truth is spoken on.

Jesus didn't mince any words ridiculing the hypocrisy of the religious-right scribes and Pharisees of his day. And when faced with the obnoxious modern-day Pharisees, I think the example of Jesus is a good one to follow!

Certainly they're right to want healthy families--but this measure is sadly misguided. Healthy families are founded on love, not legislation.

(This information furnished by M. Dennis Moore, Traditional Prejudices Coalition.)


Argument in Favor

It's time for all of us as parents to step in and correct the law.

My Fellow Parents,

My name is Grace Powers and three years ago, my daughter had an abortion just after her 17th birthday, without me knowing about it.

When our daughter suspected she might be pregnant, she visited the school nurse. She was counseled to have a pregnancy test at Planned Parenthood, where counselors advised her to have a quick abortion. They assured her that it was legal to keep it a secret from her mom and dad. She was not a perfect child; but up until that moment, she had been honest with us about the choices she was making in high school.

After the abortion, she began to show self-destructive behavior and she was sinking into depression, alcohol and drug abuse. The girl who was once happy, productive and energetic began slipping into a frightening place. We didn't understand what was wrong and, therefore, didn't know how to help her.

If we had known, she could have had proper medical care and proper follow up during her recovery period (as one would need after any surgery). But instead, she was left to treat herself. By her own admission, the hasty decision she made alone to abort, without anyone knowing, damaged her life in more ways than one.

At 17 years old, my daughter needed my permission to have her ears pierced or to go on a school field trip, but a procedure as invasive as abortion, was kept a secret from me.

For a teenage girl to have an abortion without the wisdom of a loving parent simply does not make sense! Unfortunately, our story has been repeated far too often in the state of Oregon. Please vote yes on 43 so other parents and girls will not have to experience the heartache that we did.

Grace Powers
Uninformed Parent of Teen Abortion

(This information furnished by Grace Powers.)


Argument in Favor

As a physician specializing in women's health and as a parent of a 12-year-old daughter, I urge you to Vote Yes on Measure 43! This is a common sense way to protect our girls' health.

The CDC reports that 801 Oregon teenagers who were 15-17 years old had abortions in 2002. Planned Parenthood's own studies estimate that 376 of these girls never told their parents. Indeed, their studies suggest that the only "responsible adult" these teens told may have been the very sexual predator who got them pregnant!

We are all too aware of horror stories of older men preying on our children. It is our responsibility to stop these deviants who pressure young girls into serious medical procedures in order to cover up statutory rape.

Measure 43 provides a judicial bypass option for any girl whose parent may be an abuser. Parental knowledge or juvenile court intervention not only deters sexual exploitation of young girls, but in real, individual cases, it saves young girls from repeat pregnancies and the medical dangers and damage of a series of repeat abortions.

School-age girls cannot go on a field trip, but they can have abortions without their parents knowing. A deceived parent cannot help a suffering girl get prompt treatment. Ballot Measure 43 will prevent dangerous and even fatal short and long-term complications of abortions on young girls.

Girls deserve better. Secret abortions are NOT the solution! Measure 43 puts sexual predators on notice. Parents will be involved in her critical health care decisions.

Whether pro-choice or pro-life, all of us can agree that when it comes to medical decisions, our daughters deserve our protection, care and respect. The best way you can demonstrate your support for girls and send a clear message to sexual predators is to join all Oregonians on November 7th and vote YES to PROTECT OUR TEEN DAUGHTERS.

Pat Marmion, MD, MPH
Diplomate, the American Boards of Obstetrics/Gynecology and Preventive Medicine

(This information furnished by Dr. Pat Marmion.)


Argument in Favor

"I wish somebody would have helped me tell my parents."

One week after my 17th birthday, I had a secret abortion. My boyfriend became violent and was getting in trouble with the law. It was during this time that I learned I was pregnant. My boyfriend urged me to get an abortion so that he would not get in trouble with his probation officer. My immature thought process was not developed enough to see that I did not have sufficient emotional capabilities to deal with a situation of this magnitude. I did not consider telling my parents because they were already disappointed in my choice to date this boy and I feared their rejection and disapproval.

My life drastically changed after this. I became very angry and bitter and I isolated myself from friends and family. After the abortion, I had many problems with all my relationships and had several bouts of severe depression. Years later, during my time of healing, I was able to talk to my mother about what had happened. She expressed sadness and disappointment; not at what I had done but that I had not come to her for help. She confirmed my suspicions that she loved me no matter what I did. I took away the opportunity for my parents to demonstrate how a loving family overcomes trials and hardships.

I believe that the emotions of dealing with this type of major life trauma are too overwhelming for a young girl to cope with. I was too young and too distraught to make any decision. My experience has taught me that NO GIRL should go through the experience of an abortion ALONE. "I wish somebody would have helped me tell my parents." Please protect the next generation of girls who are being taken advantage of by voting YES on 43.

Lori Curran
Portland, Oregon
Had an secret abortion at 17 years old

(This information furnished by Lori Curran.)


Argument in Favor

Duh Duh Duh           Duh      Duh      Duh         Duh
Duh            Duh        Duh      Duh      Duh         Duh
Duh             Duh       Duh      Duh      Duh         Duh
Duh              Duh      Duh      Duh      Duh Duh Duh
Duh             Duh       Duh      Duh      Duh         Duh
Duh            Duh        Duh      Duh      Duh         Duh
Duh Duh Duh             Duh  Duh        Duh         Duh

Let's see. A 15 year old daughter needs her Mom or Dad to go with her to sign a permission slip so she can get her ears pierced.

But she can saunter to the local abortion provider and have a major medical procure done without her mom or dad even knowing about it??

Our laws say that a 15 year old girl is not mature enough to vote, drive, enter the military or get married. But she is old enough to get an abortion without so much as letting her parents know she's doing it?

People aren't a bunch of bee-bees rolling around, completely separate from each other. We are more like leaves on a tree, distinct and yet connected. Rip a leaf away from its organic connection to the tree and to the other leaves, and it dies. In a world becoming more and more radically individualistic, we think leaves should be re-tethered. Measure 43 does that in a small yet significant way, at a very important time in a young girl's life.

There are, of course, safeguards built into this Measure. Exceptions are provided when the girl's life or health is in danger, and when parental abuse is present.

Should we vote Yes on Measure 43? Duh!

Are parents generally something to get around, avoid, thwart and ignore? Of course not! Parents are a gift from God to provide wisdom on the tough decisions of life. This Measure simply assures that these gifts of wisdom and love from God will be part of the process of these momentous decisions in a young woman's life.

Dennis Tuuri
Executive Director
Parents Education Association

(This information furnished by Dennis Tuuri, Parent's Education Association PAC.)


Argument in Favor

Parental Notification is carefully considered policy and it will work.

As a member of the Oregon House of Representatives, I was honored to be the chief sponsor of the PARENTAL NOTIFICATION BILL. After thorough review by legislative legal experts and close scrutiny through public testimony and legislative debate, the bill was passed by the Oregon House. Its opponents then killed it for political reasons. We citizens now have the power to do what the politicians refused to do. Measure 43 is good policy and it will work. Those that tell you otherwise are just playing politics.

Oregon law enables a young girl to have an abortion without her parent's knowledge. When sexual abuse has occurred, under current law the abuser can drive his pregnant teenage victim to a clinic, pay the abortion fee, and drive her home with no one the wiser. Ballot Measure 43 will stop such sexual abuse from reoccurring, and bring the culprit to justice.

But what about the girl who, for whatever reason, cannot talk to her parents? Ballot Measure 43 provides a young and inexperienced girl immediate and private access to an independent government representative. After determining the girl understands the nature and consequences of her decision, this concerned adult has authority to give permission in place of her parents. Once again, by talking to a concerned adult, if the pregnancy was caused by sexual abuse, the girl's abuser can be brought to justice.

My wife and I have raised eight daughters and we now have the privilege of watching our granddaughters grow up. Our hearts reach out to those parents who are left to pick up the emotional pieces of their daughter's broken hearts, without knowing the cause of her deep-rooted depression, self-doubt, and sometimes suicide.

We need to protect young pregnant girls from continuing sexual abuse while respecting relationships between parents and their daughters.

Vote YES on Ballot Measure 43.

Dennis Richardson
State Representative
Father of 8 Daughters

(This information furnished by Dennis Richardson, State Representative.)


Argument in Favor

Ron Saxton – Parental Notification Makes Sense

I am supporting Measure 43 because it is common sense legislation and it is the best public policy for our children, our families and our community.

Despite what they may tell us, teenage girls are not adults. They are children who benefit from and require the guidance of their parents – especially during difficult times and when they face difficult decisions. As parents we bear the responsibility of teaching them and guiding them through such situations.

Coming to terms with an unwanted pregnancy or the possibility of abortion undoubtedly qualifies as a situation when a teenager needs her parents. And loving parents will want to be – and deserve to be there for their child. After all, parents have legal rights and responsibilities, including a duty to ensure their child's well being and accounting for their decisions. Measure 43 ensures that they have that opportunity and that their daughters receive the love and guidance they need.

Further, to deal with those instances when girls have abusive parents or are pregnant as a result of incest, Measure 43 has a bypass option that allows them to participate in a confidential judicial hearing where the notification requirement can be waived. Again, this is common sense.

Will parental notice always contribute to the best decisions being made? No one can guarantee that. But it seems right to me to trust that the vast majority of parents will try to do the right thing and help guide their daughter's decision – and their daughters will benefit from their involvement.

Indeed, if we ask that parents give their permission before school children receive an aspirin, is it reasonable to leave them in the dark when their daughter seeks an abortion? As a parent, I know I would want to be notified and that's why I support Measure 43.

(This information furnished by Ron Saxton, Friends of Ron Saxton.)


Argument in Favor

That's What Families Are For

For over 25 years, the Oregon Family Council has dedicated itself to the belief that public policy should help families, not hurt them.

Measure 43, which requires a doctor to notify a parent of a girl 15, 16 or 17 prior to an abortion, does exactly that. It ends a nonsensical loophole that allows a boyfriend or abortion-clinic employee to influence a teenage girl's decision regarding abortion rather than her parents.

It's Too Great A Decision For A Teenage Girl to Make Alone
Abortion is a significant medical procedure and a decision few teens are equipped to make alone. For example, most teen girls cannot adequately provide an abortion-clinic worker with vital information about her medical background or know to ask probing questions regarding the short or long-term complications of abortion. This leaves her at risk without parental involvement.

It's Too Great A Risk For A Teenage Girl to Make Alone
Furthermore, an unplanned pregnancy is traumatic, especially for a young girl still in high school. Making matters worse, some teens suffer lasting emotional and psychological complications following an abortion. These can include nightmares, damaged self-esteem, relationship disorders or drug and alcohol abuse. An informed parent can watch for these or other related complications.

A Teenage Girl Needs Her Parent's Love and Support
Most importantly, a situation that may appear completely overwhelming to a pregnant teenager, can become much more manageable with a parent at her side.

Facing an unplanned pregnancy is far too great a burden for a young teenage girl to face alone. It's the time when she most needs the love, support and wisdom of her parents. And it's the time when her parents, who are responsible for her health and well-being, most deserve to be involved.

Please, join us in voting Yes on Parental Notice Measure 43
Young teenage girls need it. The parents of teen daughters deserve it.

(This information furnished by Mike White, Oregon Family Council.)


Argument in Favor

Parents have a serious responsibility to their kids

We all recognize that parents have a serious duty and responsibility to their children. When parent's slack off, children get hurt. But, how can they protect and care for them if information about their medical treatment is deliberately hidden from them?

In the State of Oregon abortion providers and those to whom you entrust your children have no requirement to tell you if your minor daughter is pregnant and contemplating or is scheduled for an abortion.

This is wrong and it needs to be changed. Do not be confused by the rhetoric or the 'horror stories' about cruel and abusive parents.

This vote is simple: Do you want to be informed if your minor daughter is pregnant and contemplating abortion? It is time for concerned and conscientious parents to step in and protect their children. This is a serious duty and responsibility of parents and it should not be taken away from you without due process.

Your vote in favor of the Parental Notification Initiative is one step in the direction of reclaiming your parental rights to be involved in your child's life.

The Most Reverend Robert F. Vasa
Bishop of Baker

(This information furnished by The Most Reverend Robert F. Vasa, Bishop of Baker, Diocese of Baker.)


Argument in Favor

Leon O. Harrington M.D.
Board Certified Child & Adolescent Psychiatrist

As a physician with over 30 years of Psychiatry practice in Oregon, I support Measure 43 because I have personally seen the psychological affects of pregnancy on teenage girls. I see troubled teenage girls in my practice who become pregnant for both conscious and subconscious reasons. Many become sexually active at a young age to act out against their parents in an attempt to either gain peer approval or sustain a romantic relationship in order to receive the love they may never have felt before.

Whatever the psychological motivation or rationalization for pregnancy is; the usual emotional response in a pregnant 15 to 17 year old is anxiety, embarrassment, fear and guilt.

Unfortunately most adolescents of 15 to 17 years of age have not reached the stage of formal operational thinking when one is able to realize the full ramifications of one's decisions. Therefore, Parental involvement in this scenario is a must.

Adolescents who make an abortion decision in a vacuum often feel estranged from and resentful toward their parents for their non involvement.

In my clinical experience, once parents are involved, the pregnant adolescent is more likely to make an informed decision and less likely to experience guilt, unresolved grief and the need to compulsively redo the pregnancy cycle, after choosing an abortion.

Opponents argue that some parents will be abusive once the pregnancy is discovered. Measure 43 includes a judicial bypass for those young women unable to communicate with their parents.

But, when the pregnant adolescent makes the choice in a supportive environment, there tends to be less ambivalence, depression and less personally, harmful behavior, such as drugs and alcohol abuse and extreme promiscuousness in the future. Furthermore, if the girl does have a negative emotional reaction to her pregnancy or abortion, it is almost always the parents that recognize the fact that she needs professional help.

Leon O. Harrington M.D.
Child Psychiatrist

(This information furnished by Leon O. Harrington, MD.)


Argument in Favor

Stronger Families of Oregon Support Parental Notification Law

Currently in Oregon, 15, 16, and 17 year old girls cannot legally get their ears pierced, receive medication from their school, or utilize a tanning facility without written parental consent. These same girls, however, can get an abortion not only without their parents' consent, but without their parents' knowledge that they have undergone a major medical procedure.

Why Girls Don't Tell Their Parents
There is a general assumption that most pregnant teens tell at least one parent if they are planning on getting an abortion and that not allowing parents to know protects teens from an abusive home. This assumption is not valid. According to the Guttmacher Institute, 55% of minors did not tell their parents they planned on having an abortion. Of those, 89% consulted their boyfriends instead. Only 6% cited fear of abuse as a reason not to tell their parents. 73% of teens did not tell their parents because they did not want to disappoint them. In reality, many found their parents loving and supportive.

For teenage girls who do live in abusive homes and cannot turn to their parents for help, this law affords a bypass that allows the girls to seek permission from an administrative law judge with the Oregon Health Department. The hearings are timely and confidential. More importantly, they hope to also provide a window for the teen to escape her abusive home instead of an abortion which may only perpetuate the abuse.

If their daughter has an abortion, parents need to know so they can be prepared to provide physical, emotional and spiritual care. This care cannot be left to a boyfriend, or stranger in a clinic. A teenage girl facing an unwanted pregnancy needs the wisdom and guidance of a parent who knows the daughter, her medical history, and are better equipped to handle such a situation.

Please give Parents the Right to Know!

Stronger Families for Oregon

(This information furnished by Krista Anderson, Stronger Families of Oregon.)


Argument in Favor

Oregon Legislature has failed on this issue:
I have served in the Legislature for 10 years and in that time Parental Notification Bills have come before us multiple times. One time, it passed both the House and the Senate, but was vetoed by the Governor. Then this protective law was continually blocked in committee by people who were responding to special interest groups and willing to play politics with our daughter's lives. This is just not acceptable. The good news is that now we have a chance to make it right, by voting yes on 43.

Constitutionally Sound:
Having carefully studied the law I am confident that Measure 43 will make good public policy. It has the necessary safeguards for medical emergencies and victims of abuse, while allowing parents to be involved in their daughter's life at a most critical time. This Parental Notification Law is constitutionally sound, something that numerous lawyers and judges in this state have confirmed. Furthermore, Measure 43 is only a statutory change, not a constitutional amendment. This means that, in the unlikely event that there are any negative unintended consequences, we in the legislature can step in to make any necessary adjustments and clarifications.

44 Other States already have Parental Notification:
Forty-four other states already have some sort of parental involvement law on the books – its time Oregon had one too. Let's stop playing politics with our daughters; they deserve better. As a father and a legislator, I urge you to Vote Yes on 43.

Roger Beyer
State Senator
District 9

(This information furnished by Senator Roger Beyer, State Senate District 9.)


Argument in Favor

Clinical Effect of Abortion on Young Girls

Clinical research shows that women who have an abortion are much more likely to subsequently experience elevated rates of suicidal behaviors, depression, substance abuse, anxiety, and other mental problems. As a physician specializing in the practice of psychiatry for 26 years, I have had many occasions to work with women who have experienced the long-term emotional trauma caused by an abortion they had in their teen years.

Teenage girls often choose abortion out of fear or because of pressure from boyfriends. They do not anticipate nor are they prepared to deal with the emotional experiences which frequently follow an abortion. Parents, who have not been informed about their daughter's abortion, may observe changes in the daughter's behavior but not knowing the cause of the changes, they are unable to appropriately intervene.

Most adolescents are unable to make decisions based upon anticipation of the long-term consequences of their actions. Parental involvement in the decision to or not to have an abortion is very important. A teenage girl, emotionally distraught by an unexpected pregnancy, is unable to rationally consider the impact of an abortion on her future, on her family, and on her fetal infant.

If an abortion procedure is chosen, parents who are informed about the abortion before it occurs can comfort and assist their daughter through the procedure, through the difficult postabortion adjustment, and can obtain appropriate therapeutic treatment for her when necessary. With parental care and therapeutic intervention, years of heartache for the girl, her family, and her future relationships can be prevented.

Parental Notification prevents girls from being alone in a lifealtering decision and event. Staying connected with caring parents is the best coping mechanism for the stress of an unwanted pregnancy.

For the mental health of Oregon's young girls, please vote YES on MEASURE 43.

Lynne Bissonnette, M.D., Ph.D.
Physician, psychiatrist

(This information furnished by Lynne B. Bissonnette, MD, PhD.)


Argument in Favor

Oregon is One of Only Six States Without Some Form of Parental Notice Law

Measure 43 is not a radical idea. In fact, it is a very common sense measure which is why 44 other states have passed similar laws or initiatives. Despite all our best efforts to educate teenagers, girls are still getting pregnant at a young age and are forced to make an adult choice with adult consequences. We must not abandon them in this time of need. Instead, parental notification insures that the most reliable support team is involved in a girl's crisis.

Young Girls are Afraid of Disappointing Their Parents

Studies have shown that the main reason young girls do not tell a parent is not because they are afraid of abuse, but because they are afraid of disappointing them. And for those not in ideal family situations, there is a safe and easy-to-use bypass clause that allows a girl to get the necessary protection.

Parents Have Needed Medical History

Abortion clinics don't seek out the medical history before they perform the abortion procedure. In this case we are talking about 15, 16 and 17 year old girls who are often frightened and confused about their crisis and decision. Passing Measure 43 will insure that young girls who choose to seek an abortion will do so with the abortion provider having the necessary medical history, insuring the health of the young girl is protected.

The Boyfriends Leave, but the Parents Stay

Finally, it is too often the case that the young girl gets pregnant and the frightened boy, who is mutually responsible for the pregnancy, leaves to avoid any responsibility leaving the parents to pick up the pieces. In the end, parents have been there from day one and will continue to support their children.

Please Vote Yes on Measure 43
Representative Karen Minnis
State Legislature, Speaker of the House

(This information furnished by Karen Minnis, State Representative - House District 49.)


Argument in Favor

Gynecologist Supports Parental Notification

As a medical specialist for women for over 30 years, I have personally seen and treated major complications from abortions, both legal and "illegal". Teenage girls are just not mature enough to ask the right questions about the health consequences of these decisions.

Post-Abortion Medical Risks - Holly Patterson Case

Contrary to proponents of abortion, the legalization of abortion in 1973 did not end the complications related to abortion. Holly Patterson, the young teen who died from severe postabortion infection from a medical abortion in California in 2004 made this fact emphatically apparent, given the notoriety of her case. Her father's first awareness of her pregnancy was when he was notified that his daughter was on life support and not expected to live! What a horrifying place for a parent to find themselves in.

Silent No More

Even when the medical consequences have been minimal, reports in medical journals report the emotional consequences of the abortion procedure. They include significant depression, post-traumatic stress, and subsequent substance abuses; all are well documented. As one girl lamented, who repeated the abortion procedure multiple times, "The act of taking the lives of my children has affected every person around me." Emotional instability and mental health are related to the "secrets" we bury in our subconscious. Parents need to be a part of their young daughter's lives to watch for these dangerous signs. Pregnancy conceived in secret and terminated in secret does not solve the inner turmoil for the teens involved.

The duplicity of silence must end. Vote YES for Parental Notification!

Richard M. Thorne M.D. FACOG
Retired Fellow of the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology

(This information furnished by Richard Thorne, M.D.)


Argument in Favor

PARENTS DESERVE TO BE ENGAGED
Most parents, no matter how shocked or disappointed they are that their teen is pregnant, would rather be "in the know" during their child's crisis. Parents set aside their own feelings to help their teen through a personal trial. Imagine the heartbreak to learn your daughter faced a major psychological and medical challenge without your support. Worse yet, imagine your child died from complications, or committed suicide, but you never had the opportunity to help because the law said the doctors did not have to include you. Abortion is a surgical procedure that can put the teen at risk for infection, excess bleeding, future fertility problems and even death. Don't parents deserve to be notified their daughter is facing this life-altering procedure?

TEENS DESERVE THE BEST SUPPORT
When facing a procedure as psychologically stressful and physically challenging as abortion, even a teen growing in independence needs to have the best support; that support will be from those who have loved and supported that child all her life. If an abortion is still chosen, the teen must have the proper adult post-op monitoring plus long-term psychological support.

DOCTORS DESERVE THE OPPORTUNITY TO GIVE BETTER CARE
Any doctor about to do a major surgical procedure on a teen, even one who looks healthy, deserves to have that child's complete personal and family health history as a part of giving excellent medical care. Furthermore, parental involvement allows for reliable care and monitoring afterwards.

A YES Vote Will NOT Make Abortion Illegal, but It Will Support Our Common Goal of Caring Well for Teens.

The American Academy of Medical Ethics
Joan Sage, MD Pediatrician
Drea Olmstead, MD, Obstetrician and Gynecologist
E. Daniel Crawford, MD
Brick Lantz, MD
Richard A. Williams, MD
Anna M. Lattin, MD
Jason A. Lattin, MD
Michael J. McLaughlin, M. Div., American Academy
of Medical Ethics
Grace Crary, DMD
Ann Tsen, MD
Christin J. McIntyre, MD, Ph.D
Andrew C. Tsen, MD

(This information furnished by Joan Sage, MD, The American Academy of Medical Ethics.)


Argument in Favor

Yes on 43 – Good for Teenage Girls

As Oregon women, we believe that Measure 43 helps pregnant teenage girls receive the support and care that they deserve.

Allowing Parents to Parent
Moms and dads are responsible for their children's well-being, and Measure 43 allows a parent to be aware and involved in a difficult situation in her daughter's life. Pregnant teenage girls need the emotional, spiritual, and physical support that parents can best provide.

Follow-Up Care
Abortion is a surgery with physical and emotional risks and side effects, like any other medical procedure. As informed parents we are more likely to take our daughter in for follow-up care or to watch for signs of potential complications than a well-meaning high school friend or boyfriend. We can also lovingly help our daughter address the risky behavior that led to her pregnancy.

Protecting Girls, Not Abusers
29% of pregnant Oregon teens are victims of statutory rape, but doctors are not required to ask our underage daughters if their pregnancy is the result of abuse. Right now, adult boyfriends may pressure our daughters to quietly obtain an abortion, keeping his crime a secret. Abortion without notification does nothing to empower teenagers to stop their abusers. Instead, secrecy helps shield criminals.

Judicial Bypass: an Added Safeguard
Under Measure 43, teenage girls who fear harm if their parents are notified have an important ally: an administrative judge. Hearings to bypass parental notification would be easy to schedule, and could take place over the phone. If a teen were pregnant because of incest or rape, a conversation with a judge would be a safe, confidential place to disclose abuse.

Joining the Nation
Parental involvement laws are working in 35 states. Through notification, parents are empowered to support and care for their teenage daughter.

Teenage girls deserve Measure 43's protections. Please join the Oregon Women's League—and the majority of Americans—in supporting parental notification.

(This information furnished by Betsy Maynard, Oregon Women's League.)


Argument in Favor

I would like to tell you about a woman who had an abortion at 16 after she was raped by a classmate. Some might believe that she would have felt immediate relief after her abortion, but that was not the case.

When her parents discovered she was sexually active with her boyfriend they forbid her from seeing him anymore. She tells her story, "In an attempt to circumvent my parent's wishes we asked a classmate of ours to pretend to date me, instead, he took me to a remote location and raped me."

About a month later when she discovered she was pregnant. Planned Parenthood told her she had an ectopic pregnancy. "The counselor said that unless I had an abortion immediately, I would die." Being young and naïve she didn't understand that an ectopic pregnancy couldn't be diagnosed by a simple urine pregnancy test.

She chose not to tell her parents and had the abortion at a local clinic. After the abortion, she remembers, "I was a mess, I hemorrhaged, and I cried constantly. I regretted my decision and hated myself for it." She began drinking and became sexually promiscuous. If wasn't until college that she told her parents about the abortion. She recalls how they reacted, "both my parents were very sad and sympathized with my pain." She says, that "in hindsight I realize that I was still a child being forced to make an adult decision based on fear and erroneous information."

She believes that had her parents been notified they would have helped the decision to be made rationally, not hastily and emotionally, with better information. "I would've known to get a second opinion about ectopic pregnancy," instead of relying on one opinion. She asks, "Please don't let another teen make a life-altering decision based on faulty information and fear."

Please Vote Yes on 43.

(This information furnished by Sarah Nashif, Protect Our Teen Daughters.)


Argument in Favor

Teenagers Need the Support of their Parents

We are pastors whose combined congregations represent thousands of families and teenagers. We know firsthand how essential a parent's love and support are to a young person facing a deep personal crisis.

This is especially true for a 15, 16 or 17 year-old young woman facing an unintended pregnancy. While understandably disappointed, parents more than anyone else will look to their daughter's long-term well being.

It is a parent who can best help their daughter consider her pregnancy options. Parents can help provide the practical and emotional support needed should their daughter choose to raise her child. They can discuss the seldom-considered choice of adoption. And it is parents who are most careful to assure that their child receives proper medical care and follow-up. Equally important, mom or dad will examine closely, the relationship that led to the pregnancy and help their daughter take steps to prevent this situation from happening again.

Measure 43 Includes a Reasonable Judicial Bypass

In the rare case where a parent's involvement may not be in the child's interest, Measure 43 has a confidential judicial bypass clause. It can even be accessed by telephone.

Parental involvement is best for teens. That's why it is required before a student can play sports, join scouts, get their ears pierced or even go to church camp. How much more important is their involvement prior to a serious medical procedure like abortion.

Teenage girls need the love and support of their parents when facing personal crisis.
Please join us in voting Yes on Measure 43

Pastor Frank Damazio
City Bible Church

Pastor Dale Ebel
Rolling Hills Community Church

Pastor Ray Cotton
New Hope Community Church

Pastor Bill Wilson
Portland Christian Center

Pastor Delbert Durfee
Athena Christian Church

Pastor James T. Simmons
Oakland Church of Christ

Pastor James Allison
Grace Chapel

Rev. Richard L Rice
Calvary Open Bible Church

(This information furnished by Michael P. White, Executive Director, Oregon Family Council.)


Argument in Favor

Dear Democrats,

As a Democrat, I believe that parental notification is a nonpartisan issue. Everyone can feel comfortable Voting Yes on 43. Please join our fellow Oregonians in enacting this citizeninitiated law to protect the role of family. The new law will assure that the young women's parent or parents receive notice before a major medical procedure of ending a pregnancy prematurely is performed on their daughter. If this new law is adopted by the people of our state, then a girl can face this critical situation together with her family instead of alone.

The Bypass is Easy and it Works

I realize that not every family is ideal and there are abusive parents out there and that is why this law has a simple judicial bypass for girls who are victims of rape or incest, or who may be concerned about parental abuse. The bypass is offered through the Department of Health's Administrative Law Judges. A girl concerned about abuse could receive a hearing with an administrative law judge with as little as a phone call. The hearings can be conducted over the phone and they are private and confidential, open only to the girl, her lawyer (if she wants) and the judge. The law, as written right now, gives the judge strict timelines in which he must decide whether the girl can bypass the parental notification requirement to go through with the abortion. Even with a second appeal a girl will not wait longer then 10 calendar days for her decision. The bypass clause will protect girls from abusive parents, while bringing sexual predators to light and allowing the girl to receive the help she needs instead of sending her back to be victimized again.

I urge all Democrats in Oregon to put aside party politics and vote YES to adopt this new law. It is what is best for our daughters.

Jacqueline Pynes
Oregon Registered Democrat

(This information furnished by Jacqueline Pynes.)


Argument in Favor

Pregnancy Resource Centers is a non-political, nonprofit organization, dedicated to providing education, compassionate counsel and care for girls and women facing unplanned pregnancies, without pressure, manipulation, or coercion. We serve over 10,000 new clients annually. Every day we see the impact that the pressures of unplanned pregnancies place upon these young girls. These decisions will affect the rest of their lives. That's why they need their parent's guidance and protection.

Parental Notification is not a political issue. It's a health issue. It's a family issue. It's a life issue. No one makes choices in a vacuum. We all make choices based on the voices we listen to. Currently, often it is everyone, except the parents, who have a voice in their daughter's pregnancy crisis.

The measure cares about girls in good homes and has a bypass to pull girls out of abusive homes. Current law however, assumes that other people will know better how to care for your daughter than you can. We urge the passage of this bill to protect Oregon's daughters from coerced abortions. A girl facing the agonizing choice about pregnancy can move ahead with support instead of fear.

It's time Oregon joined the other 35 states and the majority of voters in supporting a girl's right to receive counsel from the people who gave her life, and who will need to stand with her in the consequences of her choices. Please vote Yes on Measure 43 and make Parental Notification the standard instead of the exception.

Pregnancy Resource Centers of Greater Portland
(Serving 10,000 new clients annually)

(This information furnished by Larry Gadbaugh, Pregnancy Resource Center.)


Argument in Favor

My Parents Always Took Me to the Doctor…
But that Night I Had to Drive Myself Home

When I look back at all the choices I've made in my life, the one that haunts me the most was made when I was just 17; an age when I, like many teenagers, was routinely making poor decisions.

My parents had always encouraged me to do well in school. They were the ones who took me to the dentist and to the doctor when I had strep throat. They made sure I ate oatmeal on cold winter mornings and took vitamins everyday.

My decision was made without consulting my parents. But it was people who knew me for less than five minutes who showed me where to sign the forms and told me where to show up to have the late term abortion.

I was terrified about becoming a mother and frankly, afraid of pain and wanted to avoid talking about the situation with my parents. Instead, I found myself going through an agonizing process alone. I drove myself home that night, too ashamed to tell anyone where I had been.

The devastating effects from this abortion simply cannot be overstated. While thankful that I suffered no lasting physical harm, the emotional damage is on-going.

Ironically, had I had complications from the abortion such as infection and had to be hospitalized, my parents would have been medically and financially responsible and would need to sign a consent form for me to receive treatment.

If a parental notification bill had been in place when I was going through this situation, I believe I wouldn't be living with this regret today. Because I was an immature 17 and in the midst of a crisis, with the help of strangers, I made a decision based entirely on fear. Please Protect other Teen Girls and Vote Yes on 43

Diane Meyer
Oregon Citizen
Had Secret Abortion at 17 years old

(This information furnished by Diane Meyer.)


Argument in Favor

Most Oregonians are simply unaware that every day clinics are performing secret abortions on girls as young as fifteen years old without any legal obligation to notify a parent or to ask who impregnated this young girl.

Protect Victims of Rape and Incest
The bypass clause gives girls who are fearful of telling their parents easy access to a judge. Therefore, this bypass helps to reveal cases where teens were the victims of rape and incest instead of giving them a secret abortion and sending them right back to be victimized again.

As a former police officer, I know of many cases in which a girl was the victim of rape, incest and physical abuse. As a result, some girls seek an abortion without ever discussing the issue with their parent(s). I understand that the policy of secrecy was intended to protect a girl's privacy. Unfortunately, the potential tragedy or unintentional consequence is the protection of the offender who may be a sexual predator.

This bill provides protection for victims of rape and incest that we never knew about because of secret abortions. The bypass clause was meant to be broad enough to cover all mistreatment, neglect and abuse. As a legislator, I did not want to narrow the bypass clause solely down to rape and incest.

Who Can Protect these Girls?
Who should be offering her guidance during this traumatic experience? I don't think it should be abortion clinic counselors she has never met before and will never see again, and whose livelihood depends on how many abortions are performed that week.

As a State Representative, I'm asking you to not let this policy of silence continue. Show our teen girls that they should not be embarrassed or ashamed because they are pregnant or abused. Silence and Secrecy does not protect girls. Give girls in abusive homes access to protection, Vote Yes on 43.

Representative Andy Olson
Retired Oregon State Police
Oregon State Representative

(This information furnished by Andy Olson, State Representative/Retired State Police.)


Argument in Favor

Why is Abortion the Exception to the Rule?

I support Parental Notification because I'm a doctor - and a father.

Let's put this measure in context. As a doctor, I cannot run tests or perform medical procedures on a minor without the written consent of a parent. The consent of a parent is even required before a minor can receive an aspirin at school. Yet, abortion has been separated legally from all other medical procedures for political reasons.

Abortion is a potentially dangerous procedure. Excessive bleeding, internal trauma, psychological trauma, a possible association with later breast cancer and even death can occur as a result of an abortion. The Journal of the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology (2004) concluded that abortion carried a risk of death nearly three times that of full-term birth. A study in the Southern Medical Journal says that women who have abortions are at a 154 percent greater risk of suicide. Breast cancer has also risen proportionately to the abortion rate and this association is under investigation. Adult women have the capacity to make informed decisions about their medical care and to accept the risks. Children do not have the same capacity.

Certainly, abortion is more dangerous than taking an aspirin or having an ear pierced, yet these procedures require parental consent and abortion does not even require that a parent be notified. You now have an opportunity to address this double standard.

This measure would not prevent the right of women to choose. This measure is designed to prevent female children from going through a potentially dangerous medical procedure without a support system and the appropriate follow-up care afterward. Certainly anyone who is a parent will see the importance and common sense of this measure. That is why as a doctor and as the father of a wonderful teenage girl I am voting yes on this measure.

Frank S. Rosenbloom, M.D.
Practices in Tualatin

(This information furnished by Dr. Frank Rosenbloom.)


Argument in Favor

LAW ENFORCEMENT OFFICERS
Support Measure 43

Parental Notification Is an Important Tool to Combat Sexual Abuse of Teenage Girls
Sexual abuse of teen girls 15, 16 and 17 years of age is a serious problem. According to Oregon Vital Statistics, 29% of underage teen pregnancies are the result of sex with a male 20 years or older, therefore constituting cases of statutory rape. Certainly, not all represent the most damaging forms of sexual abuse, but it represents young girls being taken advantage of.

Includes a Simple Judicial Bypass
In the rare case where a parent or other family member is abusing the child, Measure 43's easily accessible Judicial Bypass, allows the teen to confidentially and promptly discuss her situation with a concerned judge, whereby steps will be taken to end the abuse instead of sending her right back into an abusive situation. The teenage girl can obtain her bypass without ever entering a courtroom; she could even obtain it by phone if necessary.

Measure 43 Can Help End Abuse
Parental Notification is an important step to combat teen sexual abuse. When parents are notified of an impending abortion, they ask questions. If sexual abuse, like rape, is involved, parents take steps to protect their daughter from further abuse and notify law enforcement giving us the opportunity to apprehend the abuser.

Current Oregon policy, whereby underage teen abortions can be performed in secret, often protects the abuser and keeps the teen girl in an abusive situation. That's why Parental Notification is vital in the fight to end the abuse of underage teen girls.

Please Join Us and Other Oregon Law Enforcement Officials in Voting Yes on Measure 43.

Scott Chamberlain, Law Enforcement Officer
Rod Moxley
Colby J. Panter, Police Officer
Detective (Ret) Thomas J. Dryden
Pete Dunn, Police Officer
Jason Camillo
Dennis Johnson

(This information furnished by Sarah Nashif, Protect Our Teen Daughters.)


Argument in Favor

Our 16 year old daughter had an abortion
and three months later committed suicide

My daughter Dana was a beautiful, caring, giving and sensitive girl. She loved everyone around her and wanted to do what was best for them. Tragically, she didn't do what was best for herself.

At 16, Dana got pregnant. Dana and her boyfriend decided that abortion was their best option. A few days before Christmas, Dana had a secret abortion. Over Christmas, Dana was not herself. When we asked what was wrong, she would simply say she didn't feel well.

Dana's boyfriend left her and she slipped into depression. We thought that it was the breakup and that things would eventually be okay. We would try to talk with her, try to support her but she wouldn't communicate. Three months after her abortion, Dana committed suicide.

The day after Dana's memorial service, my sister came to me and told me that three months earlier she took Dana to get an abortion. Dana turned to her aunt for help because like many teenagers, she was concerned about what we would say. Today, my sister recognizes her silence as a terrible mistake.

We knew something was wrong but we didn't see the signs of suicide. Not even Dana's closest friends knew of her plan.

Before her abortion, Dana relied on her peers and boyfriend for support rather than us. Dana's friends didn't mean her harm, but they didn't have the maturity to know the impact the abortion had on Dana's life.

Had we been notified about Dana's abortion we would have known what was happening. We would have been able to give Dana our love, understanding and support as well as the professional help she needed. Had someone taken the time to notify us of her decision we would have our daughter with us today.

Kaye Hale
An Oregon mother

(This information furnished by Elizabeth Spillman, Protect Our Teen Daughters.)

Elections Division, Oregon Secretary of State • 136 State Capitol • Salem, OR 97310-0722