Politics

Oct 23, 2012 8:45 AM by Marnee Banks - MTN News

Montana campaign issues: LR 120, underage abortions

HELENA- The issue of abortion is on the ballot this November, and it has both sides pretty fired up.

LR-120 would require a minor under the age of 16 to notify their parents before getting an abortion if it's passed by voters in November.

"Parental permission is required for tattoos, for ear piercings, for a child to go to the tanning salon. For us to allow a child to consent to surgery without their parents knowing is just wrong," Montana Family Foundation President Jeff Laszloffy said.

However, for some, it's not that black and white of an issue.

"LR-120 is a huge barrier for those girls who are scared, and victims of abuse in their homes, or by someone else very close to their family to come in and have a confidential conversation," Stacey Anderson with Planned Parenthood Montana countered.

She added that if the measure passes, minors who have no one to turn could harm themselves, run away, or even contemplate suicide. But for those supporting the ballot issue, this is about parents rights.

"When this same law passed in Alaska two years ago, abortions on minors dropped by 23%. We believe that's because parents stepped into what the minor saw as an overwhelming situation and said as a family we can join together and we will help you get through this, and that's what parents are there for," Laszloffy said.

But Anderson says some parents aren't there and that's the problem.

"I think people really need to think beyond their own worlds and their own families when they look at LR 120, and they really need to think about the girl who lives across town or down the street."

One thing that both sides in this debate agree on is that the is highly emotional one for Montana voters.

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