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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Friday, November 3, 2006

CONTACT:

NAF Communications Department
202-667-5881
press@prochoice.org

National Abortion Federation Encourages Oregon Voters to Reject Measure 43

Washington, DC - Oregon voters will consider a parental notification ballot initiative on Election Day, November 7. Measure 43 would require 48-hour written notice to a parent before a teen between the ages of 15-17 has an abortion. Oregon law already requires teens who are 14 or under to obtain parental consent for any medical treatment. The measure contains no exceptions for survivors of rape or incest, or for teens in abusive homes. Instead, Measure 43 would subject teens to a complicated judicial bypass process.

"Imposing parental consent restrictions could endanger the health and safety of Oregon teens," said Vicki Saporta, President and CEO of the National Abortion Federation. "We therefore encourage voters to reject Measure 43."

Parental involvement restrictions may worsen family communication rather than promote it. While parents rightly want to be involved in the decisions of their teenage daughters, good family communication cannot be imposed by the government. In most instances, whether teens live in a state with a parental involvement law or not, parents know about a teen's decision to terminate a pregnancy. Unfortunately, involving a parent is not a realistic option for many young women who come from homes that are emotionally or physically abusive, or for those who are victims of rape or incest. Other teens may not want to involve their parents for fear of disappointing them. Rather than tell their parents, some young women may resort to dangerous alternatives.

"We urge the citizens of Oregon to reject Measure 43 in order to protect the health and safety of teens," said Saporta.

NAF and other medical authorities including the Oregon Medical Association, the Oregon chapter of the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, and the Oregon Nurses Association oppose Measure 43 because it puts the health and safety of Oregon teens at risk.

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The National Abortion Federation (NAF) is the professional association of abortion providers in the United States and Canada. Our mission is to ensure safe, legal, and accessible abortion care to promote health and justice for women. Our members include health care professionals at clinics, doctors' offices, and hospitals, who together care for more than half the women in both countries who choose abortion each year. For more information, visit our website at www.prochoice.org

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