Third Time Hopefully Not A Charm in California

Amie Newman

Californians will head to the voting booth in November to weigh in one more time on what they think of a parental notification law for minors.

California voters will be weighing in, for the third time, on whether or not minors in their state need to notify their parents before they receive an abortion.

A parental notification measure has made it to the November 4th ballot after gaining enough signatures. They needed close to 700,000 signature to make it onto the ballot and garnered 1, 228, 217. The measure would also require minors to wait 48 hours after deciding to have an abortion (and speaking with a healthcare provider) before accessing abortion services.

Maybe this third attempt will sway voters but Californians have rejected similar proposals in years past – first in 2005 and then in 2006.

California’s 2006 ballot measure, Proposition 85, implored voters to “Protect Our Daughters”. The web site assuredly stated that the proposition would protect young girls from sexual abuse and made bizarre claims like the following that seem to echo the very reasons for ensuring access to safe and legal abortion: No young girl should undergo any invasive medical procedure performed secretly by an unknown person at an unknown location.

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Are conservative “values voters” being drawn to the polls in November by this measure, coupled with a likely referendum on the recent Supreme Court decision to allow same-sex marriage in this state?

The initiative does allow for a minor to obtain the signature of an “adult family member” if “parental abuse is reported.” But how often is abuse reported? And how does one identify abuse – are we talking emotional, physical or mental? The state stepping in to monitor or force family communication is not the way to ensure healthy communication between parent and child. Hopefully, Californians will tell the proponents of this initiative (for the THIRD time) that this isn’t in the best interest of young people – or their families.

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