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From Portland, Oregon

Joanne Kang,
Washington Legislative Office
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October 31, 2006

Greetings from Portland, Oregon, where Kacie, Rachel, and I have been working on the campaign to defeat Measure 43! Measure 43 would change Oregon law to require doctors to send a government-mandated certified notification letter to a parent at least 48 hours before a young woman aged 15-17 is able to obtain an abortion.

It makes NO exception for survivors of rape or incest. It would permit doctors to be sued or lose their license if the notification letter is not received for any reason. For a teen living in abusive or violent homes, her only alternative would be to plead her case to an administrative law judge at the Oregon Department of Human Services, a bureaucratic state agency that is already stretched too thin. These DHS services are not actual judges and would receive no special training in sensitive family matters.

The No on 43 campaign slogan says it best: Measure 43 is not simple, and it’s definitely not safe.

Fighting the measure has been a joint effort. We ACLUers are working with the No on 43 campaign in conjunction with a number of our fabulous coalition partners – NARAL Pro-Choice Oregon, Planned Parenthood, Basic Rights Oregon, and many more. We’ve also been endorsed by groups like the Oregon Medical Association, the Oregon Education Association, the Oregon Nurses Association, and too many more to name.

Between the campaign headquarters and the Planned Parenthood office and a series of misguided U-turns, we’ve seen it all from the comfort of our rental car, an outrageously blue PT Cruiser. Rachel immediately put her press skills to use by helping the staff here with press calls, blog outreach, and recording efforts. We’ve all been doing our part, working the phones every night, callng our Oregon membership to recruit volunteers and ask for donations. Dave Fidanque and Andrea Meyer from ACLU of Oregon have helped enormously in these efforts. We’ve also seen Portland’s thriving arts communities and colorful farmers’ markets in action – they’re great opportunities to educate voters. They’re also great opportunities to grab a delicious lunch, fresh local produce, and some of the best coffee we’ve ever had.

We’re working hard to defeat Measure 43, we’re enjoying the gorgeous autumn foliage, and we’re in the company of lots of friendly Oregonians and their dogs. So far, so good. We’ll keep you posted.

– Joanne Kang, Field Assistant

For more information:

Measure 43 puts barrier between pregnant teens and health care, The Oregonian

Law can’t force child-parent communications, Salem Stateman Journal

“Measure 43: No”, The Eugene Register-Guard

Even Dear Abby addressed the issue in a recent column …

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