Schwarzenegger Call for California Election Prompts Abortion Vote

State   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Jun 13, 2005   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Schwarzenegger Call for California Election Prompts Abortion Vote Email this article
Printer friendly page

by Steven Ertelt Editor
June 13, 2005

Sacramento, CA ( — Because California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger is set to call for a special election in November on other political issues, voters in the Pacific state will have an opportunity to vote on a measure allowing parental notification on abortion.

Backers of the ballot initiative, to determine whether or not parents should be told when their teenager daughters are considering an abortion, received enough signatures to get the measure on the ballot.

While they only needed 600,000 to qualify, pro-life advocates turned in more than one million.

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

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

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

"It endangers young women’s lives period," Katherine Spiller, executive director of the Feminist Foundation, told the Marin newspaper.

Schwarzenegger is busy taking on organized labor and probably won’t weigh in heavily on the abortion debate. Though he supports abortion, he has indicated his support for parental notification.

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.

Related web sites:
Tell a Parent –