by Steven Ertelt
October 26, 2006
Salem, OR (LifeNews.com) — Both sides in the debate over whether or not Oregon parents should be told about their teenage daughter’s request for an abortion have dueling television commercials airing throughout the state. The vote on Measure 43 will likely be very close as abortion advocates throw hundreds of thousands of dollars into television spots.
The Vote Yes on 43 campaign has two television ads it’s been airing.
One ad features a young woman sitting in the waiting room at an abortion center. While her boyfriend looks on approvingly, the girl calls her mother who is busily working at a local diner and tells her she’s at the library.
"Everyday in Oregon minors undergo secret abortions without the knowledge and protection of their parents," a narrator says in a voice-over. "Many go on to suffer depression, drug and alcohol abuse."
"Does it make sense to shut parents out when they’re needed the most?" the ad concludes.
Meanwhile, the pro-abortion No on 43 campaign is asking for financial help to keep its ads on the air.
It features Mary Lou Hennrich, an Oregon nurse who claims the parental notification measure is problematic because it allows parents to know their daughters are considering an abortion after they’ve been raped.
The ad claims the bypass measure would be tough for teenagers to go through in cases of incest or abuse at home, even though abortion businesses routinely have attorneys on hand to guide teens through the process.
The commercial also warns that "doctors and nurses" would be subject to lawsuits — referring to the legal trouble abortion practitioners could find themselves in should they violate the law and do an abortion on a teenager without her parents knowing.
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.
In its battle with Planned Parenthood to help parents help their daughters to avoid abortions, Oregon Right to Life, which is leading the fight for parental notification, 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.