The article concerning parental notification laws and the tragic death of Becky Bell {news story, Aug. 8} mentioned that Oregon was one of the states that had parental notification legislation on the ballot. What was not mentioned in the article was the misconception surrounding parental consent and the medical treatment of minors. Many of people who I came across in Oregon, when discussing parental notification, thought that while a woman under the age of 18 could give her own consent to an abortion, she still required parental consent for other medical treatment. These people felt that this was a biased and unequal application of the law and that a parental notification measure for abortions was needed to make the law consistent.

However, clinicians at family planning centers in Oregon do not have exemptions to consent laws. They do not get away with providing medical treatment to minors, while all other physicians have to wait until their patients are over the age of 18. As the law stands in Oregon, a 15 year-old can consent to all medical treatment she deems necessary for her well-being, including an abortion. I fully believe that these women can make mature decisions. The parental notification law would make abortion the only medical treatment a minor could not consent to. DEAN WALTON Laurel