by Steven Ertelt
November 3, 2006
Salem, OR (LifeNews.com) — A statewide ballot measure in Oregon that would help parents to know when their young daughters are considering an abortion is now behind in a new poll. The latest survey shows a stunning turnaround with Measure 43 switching from an 18 point lead in a September poll to a 7 percent deficit now.
Back in September, Oregon voters said they favored the parental notification proposal 56 to 38 percent, but the new poll finds voters opting against it on a 50 to 43 percent margin.
The Portland Oregonian newspaper and KATU commissioned the poll, which Davis, Hibbitts & Midghall, an independent Portland polling firm, conducted. It surveyed 600 likely voters.
Sarah Nashif, of the pro-Measure 43 support group Protect our Teen Daughters, told the newspaper that the huge swing has been a result of the barrage of misleading television commercials abortion advocates have been running.
The ads depict a father getting an abortion notification letter and suggesting he would physical abuse his daughter as a result.
"They using outrageous accusations to scare the public," Nashif told the Oregonian newspaper.
In cases when teenagers have suffered abuse or are concerned about their parents abusing them when learning about their pregnancy, a judicial bypass is allowed where a teenager can get an abortion without telling her parents.
But the television ad doesn’t mention that possibility.
Carol Butler, of the No on 43 campaign, told the paper the turnaround is simply a matter of voters having second thoughts on parental notification after learning more about it.
Another pro-abortion ad 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 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.
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.
Backers of the parental notification proposal have been outspent by pro-abortion groups wanting to keep parents in the dark about their teen’s abortions.
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.