Protect our Children- Vote No on 43

Randy Leonard

As a democrat in the Oregon Legislature, I was surrounded by republicans –men and women- who clearly benefitted from what I called an “Ozzie and Harriet” upbringing.

Those “starry eyed” republicans could not imagine why a 15 year old girl would not tell their parents that she had become pregnant.

“What possible reason, Randy, could a young girl have of not telling her Mother and Father she was pregnant?” more than one Republican legislator would ask me. I would gaze back and observe a wealthy, college educated suburban state senator with eyes wide and blinking incessantly not realizing they were betraying a naiveté of the darker dynamics that engulf alcohol fueled home life that way too many teenage girls have been sentenced to be raised within.

Here is one such young woman whose statement I took off the No on Measure 43 web site;

My name is Diana and I'm voting no on Measure 43. I know from first hand experience that some teens can't talk to their parents about an unplanned pregnancy because of abuse or violence in the home. I was one of those teens. When I was 18 years old, I found out I was pregnant. My father had abused me for years; because he was a policeman, there was no where I could turn for help. I had an abortion. When my father found out, he pinned me down on the floor and punched me in the head repeatedly. I'm voting against Measure 43 because I know what it's like to be an abused teen -- I know the terror they face. Measure 43 will put other teens in danger, and I don’t want anyone else to go through what I went through.

In the perfect world all unexpectedly pregnant teenage daughters would go to their parents for help if they knew they would not be abused either physically or emotionally.

However, we do not all live in that world. Many young women live in a darker, dysfunctional home that can explode into violence at the drop of a teenage girl’s simple request for clothes money.

God help the young women that live in such an environment that, if Measure 43 were to pass, would result in a beating, screaming and possibly even worse.

Please join me and vote the way the real world demands to protect young, vulnerable women.

Vote No on Measure 43.

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