A teen's view of Measure 43

By Liam Rosen of Clackamas, Oregon. Liam is a graduate of Clackamas High School, class of 2005, and a current student at the University of Puget Sound in Tacoma, WA.

Measure 43 is a statewide Oregon ballot measure that would require parental notification for girls under 18 who are planning to have an abortion. Current Oregon law requires girls 14 or younger to obtain parental consent before any medical treatment. Currently, 15-17 year old girls have the right to any medical treatment without being required to notify their parents. Measure 43 would overturn this right as it pertains to abortions.

In practice, this measure seems to have its heart in the right place. Abortion is a complicated and terrible procedure. Surely young girls should be consulting with their parents before undergoing it, right? Sure, and most do. But why should a law require them to? The real world is more complicated than the proponents of 43 would have you believe. Many young girls live in homes filled with violence and domestic abuse, and requiring a letter to be sent to the house only escalates the situation.

Measure 43 also makes no exceptions for rape and incest. What would happen in the horrible situation that a girl is being raped by a family member? It is unclear whether this is being intentionally forced upon voters as a wedge issue to reduce a woman's right to choose, or unintentionally being portrayed as saving lives of young girls when in reality endangering them.

Measure 43 is propped up by the some of the most extreme organizations and characters in Oregon. 43 is opposed by mainly Doctors, Nurses, social workers, and organizations that support a woman's right to choose.

Speaking as a teenager who has recently earned the right to vote, I know how hard it is to be under 18, relying on older voters to make the meaningful decisions. A vote of "no" on Measure 43 will effectively keep the law out of decisions that young women are old enough to be making themselves. Support responsible education and strong family values, not government-mandated notices.

  • Righty (unverified)

    "keep the law out of decisions that young young women are old enough to be making themselves"

    Well, I guess that is the question isn't it.

    "What would happen in the horrible situation that a girl is being raped by a family member?"

    Under the Measure she could get an abortion after talking to a judge about it. Talking to the judge about it would get her out of that situation. A vote against this measure would essentially mean that the "problem" would be sucked out of her and she would still be in that situation of abuse.

    I believe that most men who engage in wanton sex are also against this measure because abortion is a great way from them to continue living their lifestyle without ramification.

  • RUserious (unverified)

    She could not just get an abortion after talking to a judge about it! The judge has to approve of the abortion. This means the judge (by the way, it's an administrative judge) can DENY HER THE RIGHT TO AN ABORTION. That's right, one administrative judge can say no. And if the girl has been raped by a family member and does not want to tell her rapist that she is aborting her fetus, she has to go before a judge? Ever heard of blaming the victim? It's just so sad that the people of Oregon would allow such a situation for our youngsters. There' is absolutely nothing safe about this measure. I find it very ironic that the party that says it doesn't want the government involved in their personal rights continues to try to accomplish that very thing. You actually want to make it law that teenagers have to talk to their parents? How about focus on your own damn family.

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    A vote against this measure would essentially mean that the "problem" would be sucked out of her and she would still be in that situation of abuse.

    I believe that most men who engage in wanton sex are also against this measure because abortion is a great way from them to continue living their lifestyle without ramification.

    This is just not true at all. All abortion providers and health care officials are required by law to report any suspected cases of abuse to the authorities. So it's not true to say that abused minors can get abortions without anyone doing anything to notify the authorities that abuse is occuring.

    Sending a letter to the abuser certainly won't help the situation or get the authorities involved. Despite the yes campaign's claims to the contrary, sending automatic form letters to parents won't do anything to help abused girls get help they couldn't already get now.

  • YoungerVoice (unverified)

    Funny-- Here's another "teen view" on the issue. As a seventeen year old girl, I feel that I'm better able to speak out on this issue than Liam-- Clearly, this law would effect me.

    I come from a good family, a loving home with loving parents. I wouldn't be kicked out, beaten, or otherwise abused if I became pregnant and tried to have an abortion.

    I STILL wouldn't want to talk to them about it. When I get a bad grade, I pray that it's not discovered. Getting pregnant? Yeah, that conversation isn't going to happen-- not when there's a way that I can get out of it without them ever knowing.

    Unfortunately, Liam didn't do the proper research. According to the Alan Guttmacher Institute, the majority of teens do NOT talk to their parents before an abortion. While Liam tried to make that insinuation, it's simply untrue.

    Hopefully none of you parents are so naive to think that your daughters will WANT to come to you when something like this happens. I don't care how good of a home you provide.

    And in the instances when it's a bad home, well, shouldn't we get the girl OUT of it?? I have known too many people in those sorts of situations to think for one minute that an abortion will help them. If they've become pregnant from incest, they deserve help and protection.

    I keep hearing that we should vote no to help these poor girls, but no one is ever quite clear on how it helps them. Sure, they get an abortion without having to tell their parents, but does that remove them from abuse? Does that keep them safe? Hardly.

    The No on 43 gang keeps on using these girls as political pawns without ever showing what we do for them. Shame.

    Measure 43 gives them the opportunity they need to get out of a bad home. No, there isn't an automatic exception for rape or incest-- if there was, there would suddenly be ALOT of cases of rape an incest. Instead, she's able to reveal the abuse to a judge who deals with those sorts of situations daily and, again, CAN GET THE HELP SHE NEEDS.

    How does a no vote help them? Oh, right--- it doesn't.

    Be honest with yourself-- Don't you deserve to know before your daughter has a surgical procedure? Doesn't she deserve the benefit of follow-up care? Don't be so naive as to assume she'll talk to you first, no matter how loving the home.

    I deserve better. My fellow teenagers deserve better. And parents deserve to know. Vote YES on 43.

    ~~Check out the YES on 43 TV ads.

    YouTube Diner Ad URL:


    YouTube DVD URL:


  • mmmhmm (unverified)

    You sure sound mature for such a young person - spent some time in the yes on 43 offices lately?

  • LT (unverified)

    From my reading I have concluded that Measure 43 is basically the wording of SB 1126 of 11 years ago.

    I think it is time to move this debate in a different way--is Measure 43 the only acceptable way of doing parental notification? Wisconsin passed a more intelligent bill in 1985 and there may be other states which also did intelligent parental notification solutions.

    This is another "if you agree with the general theme you must vote for the specific measure" argument.

    Well, I agree we need campaign finance reform and disagree with the current measures on the ballot based on how they are worded. And I disagree with the wording of Measure 43. Saying someone with my attitude opposes parental notification and campaign finance reform may be a good sound bite, but it won't get my vote.

  • Jenn Stewart (unverified)

    Measure 43 backers are the same people who continue to bring anti-choice and anti-gay ballot initiatives to the ballot. These extremists need to be stopped. Now they are going to put the lives of Oregon teens in danger?

    What the extremists who brought Measure 43 to the ballot (like the Yes on 43 campaign staffer above named "Younger Voice") do not tell you are the following things:

  • There are NO exceptions for rape or incest.
  • Permits doctors to be sued-or even lose their licenses-if the notification letter isn't received for any reason.
  • Puts teens that have been abused by a parent at very serious risk of further violence. If Measure 43 passes and becomes law, it means that many teens will not seek the medical attention the need, instead they will take more extreme measures. I don't need to go into details about how a teenage girl may terminate her own pregnancy without professional medical assistance, but I'm sure you imagine. So when voting yes or no on Measure 43, think about this: What if the parent is their abuser or raper? What will happen to the teen girl when her father gets this notification? It's not simple and it is definitely not at all safe. Vote NO on Measure 43. No On 43's site is here.