California Pro-Life Advocates Continue Parental Notification Campaign

State   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Oct 22, 2003   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

California Pro-Life Advocates Continue Parental Notification Campaign

by Maria Gallagher Staff Writer
October 22, 2003

Sacramento, CA ( — Pro-life activists in California are counting on church leaders to help ensure that teenagers notify one of their parents when they’re considering abortion.

Roman Catholic bishops in California are considering whether to support the Tell-A-Parent campaign by allowing signature gathering on church property, announcements in church bulletins, and other means of assistance, according to Margi Megla-Pearsonm, the campaign coordinator.

"Once we gain the bishops’ support, we can begin signature-gathering in earnest throughout our parishes and community," Megla-Pearson said. She added that organizers of the ballot campaign, with the help of the bishops, "fully expect to achieve" their goal of collecting at least 600,000 signatures in order to place the issue on the 2004 ballot.

The initial paperwork for getting the issue on the ballot was filed September 11, according to Megla-Pearson.

Organizers of the campaign believe that voters will be receptive to the effort, which would mean that one parent would have to be notified before an abortion could be performed on a girl under the age of 18.

A Zogby poll published in 2002 showed that 71 percent of those California residents surveyed support parental notification.

The initiative, if approved, could mean as many as 20,000 fewer abortions in California each year, according to estimates from pro-life leaders.

The California legislature passed a parental notification law in the mid-1980s, but legal challenges from pro-abortion forces negated it. Once the state Supreme Court ruled it unconstitutional in 1998, pro-life lawmakers attempted to fashion new notification legislation, but the measure never made it out of committee.

The new ballot proposal, however, would not be subject to the state Supreme Court, since it is in the form of a constitutional amendment. Federal courts would have jurisdiction over the amendment, but backers of the initiative believe it would withstand a court test.

A majority of states now have parental notification or consent laws on the books. Pro-life leaders in Texas say that, after their law went into effect, teen abortions dropped by some 30 percent in their state.

Backers of the California initiative say the proposal will not only save the lives of unborn children, but will also strengthen families and help restore parental rights.

Related web sites:
Tell a Parent —