California Parental Notification on Abortion Measure Qualifies for Ballot

State   |   Steven Ertelt   |   May 17, 2005   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

California Parental Notification on Abortion Measure Qualifies for Ballot Email this article
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by Steven Ertelt Editor
May 17, 2005

Sacramento, CA ( — California’a Secretary of State confirmed on Monday that a ballot initiative will appear on the ballot the next time state voters head to the polls. The initiative would allow California parents to be informed when their teenager daughters are at an abortion facility considering an abortion.

The abortion business must make sure parents are informed about a teen’s abortion consultation 48 hours before the abortion can be performed.

Secretary of State Bruce McPherson said organizers of the ballot proposal obtained the necessary 598,105 signatures to qualify for the next election.

Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger is planning to call a special election in November if he can’t reach agreement with Democrats in the state legislature on unrelated issues. If the election is held, the parental notification measure will appear on the ballot.

Schwarzenegger has not taken a stance on the parental notification proposal.

Organizations like Planned Parenthood of California and the national Feminist Majority Foundation and making plans to oppose the initiative.

The "Tell a Parent" initiative has received support from Monty Patterson, the father of California teenager Holly Patterson. She died in September 2003 after using an RU 486 abortion drug she obtained from a San Francisco-area Planned Parenthood.

The abortion business did not tell Monty Patterson about his daughter’s abortion. He only found out when he was summoned to the hospital after Holly began having serious complications.

The California state legislature passed a parental notification law in the mid 1980s.

The state Supreme Court ruled the law constitutional in 1996 but, with a change in personnel, the court reversed itself in 1998.

The ballot proposal is significant in that it is a constitutional amendment which would not be subject to the state Supreme Court. While federal courts would have jurisdiction over the amendment, the U.S. Supreme Court has ruled that parental notification is constitutional as long as teens can don’t have to tell their parents in abuse situations.

Supporters of the California initiative believe that such an amendment could mean 20,000 fewer abortions in the state each year.

The majority of U.S. states now have parental notification or parental consent laws on the books and such laws have reduced teen abortions by as much as 30 percent.

A Zogby poll published in June of 2002 indicated 71 percent of those Californians surveyed support parental notification.

Related web sites:
Tell a Parent –