by Steven Ertelt
October 4, 2006
Salem, OR (LifeNews.com) — A small Oregon organization that claims to oppose abortion is making it more difficult for pro-life advocates to help parents know when their daughters are considering an abortion. While pro-life groups support Measure 43 to help reduce teen abortions, an organization called Life Support is strongly opposing it.
Life Support Oregon, a group made up primarily of members of the third-party Constitution Party, which frequently runs candidates against pro-life lawmakers, said in a press release on Wednesday that it plans to oppose the parental notification measure.
The group claims the measure "will unleash the force of law to drive a legal wedge between parents and their minor daughter by guaranteeing her right to an abortion."
However, the opposite is true.
Under the ballot measure, a teenager would not be able to have an abortion unless her parents are notified 48 hours in advance. According to research from University of Alabama professor Dr. Michael New, similar laws in other states have significantly reduced the number of teen abortions.
As a result, Life Support is siding with Planned Parenthood and abortion advocates who oppose the measure.
Why a so-called pro-life group would favor keeping parents in the dark about a teenager’s abortion appears to be fallout from a grudge it has against the state’s pro-life organization, Oregon Right to Life.
ORTL is the primary backer of the parental notification proposal and in its political endorsements, typically favors pro-life candidates of the major parties because they have a greater chance of being elected and instituting pro-life policy.
As a backer of Constitution Party candidates, Life Support has frequently been on the outs when ORTL makes it endorsements. The group is led by Constitution Party candidates and considers the endorsement of pro-life candidates in major parties a personal affront.
The organization, in its press release, also wrongly states that Oregon Right to Life has endorsed Republican candidate Ron Saxton, who backs abortion, for governor.
Oregon Right to Life has not endorsed Saxton and is merely educating its members that Saxton, who favors parental notification and other pro-life proposals, is better on the issues than pro-abortion Gov. Ted Kulongowski.
That has prompted the group to issue scathing press releases against ORTL claiming it favors abortion and using taxpayer dollars to fund abortions — even though the group has worked to get state tax dollars out of abortion and elect candidates who will help.
In its battle with Planned Parenthood to help parents help their daughters to avoid abortions, Oregon Right to Life is losing the cash battle.
A new report released by the Oregon Secretary of State’s office on Monday shows that supporters of Measure 43 reported raising $207,000 for the proposal to aide parents and teenagers.
Meanwhile, the No on 43 campaign raised $706,000 to defeat the modest proposal to protect the state’s 15, 16 and 17 year-old girls.
But a poll released late last month shows Oregon residents strong support the November ballot initiative.
Sponsored by the Oregonian newspaper and KATU, the survey found 56 percent of Oregon voters support the parental notification initiative while just 38 percent oppose it.
Some 6 percent of voters are undecided on Measure 43, which is lower than the percentage of voters that are normally unsure with several weeks left to go in the campaign.
Thanks to efforts from Oregon Right to Life, abortions in Oregon are down to their lowest levels since 1998, having decreased 20 percent between then and 2004, the latest year from which state data is available. The Oregon Department of Human Services reported 14,344 abortions in 1998, but that number decreased to 11,443 abortions in 2004.