California Effort Continues for Parental Notification on Abortion

State   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Jan 1, 2004   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

California Effort Continues for Parental Notification on Abortion

by Steven Ertelt Editor
January 1, 2004

Sacramento, CA ( — California pro-life advocates are now fully engaged in the Parental Notification Initiative. They must collect 598,105 signatures by April 15 in order to have the issue added to the November 2004 ballot.

With the exception of medical emergency or suspected abuse, the pro-life law would require abortion practitioners to notify at least one parent of a minor at least 48 hours before performing the procedure.

Rosemarie Avila, one of the official proponents of the initiative, became involved in the issue after she learned that one of her now-grown daughters had an abortion as a teenager.

"How can parents become involved if they do not even know what is going on?" said Avila. "Your sixteen-year-old daughter cannot get her ears pierced without your permission, but she can have a school nurse drive her to an abortion clinic in the middle of the day without your knowledge. It is not only common sense, it is a safety issue.

"This initiative is about promoting family communication," added Avila. "My goal is to help parents help their daughters."

The parents of Holly Patterson have also endorsed the measure, following the death of their daughter who died after she was given the abortion drug Mifeprex, also known as RU-486, at a California Planned Parenthood facility. Her parents only found out about the abortion, and the pregnancy, hours before her death.

The FDA is investigating the drug following autopsy results that linked the abortion drug to the cause of death.

Voters in California appear to agree with the Pattersons and Avila. Results form an October survey conducted by Wirthlin Worldwide found that 66 percent of respondents said they would vote for a proposition requiring a parent or guardian’s notification before an abortion can be performed on a minor.

The widespread support, found across all age and ethnic groups, does not surprise Avila.

"Everyone understands the importance of parents communicating with their children, regardless of where they are from or their stage in life," said Avila.

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