California Judge Rejects Voting Guide Changes in Abortion-Notification Case

State   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Aug 12, 2005   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

California Judge Rejects Voting Guide Changes in Abortion-Notification Case Email this article
Printer friendly page

by Steven Ertelt Editor
August 12, 2005

Sacramento, CA ( — Groups on both sides of the abortion debate didn’t get much support from a judge looking at their complaints about language for and against a partial notification on abortion ballot initiative that California voters will consider in November.

Proposition 73 would require abortion facilities to make sure a minor teen’s parents are notified before an abortion can be performed on her. Other states with similar laws have seen a reduction in the number of teen abortions.

Abortion advocates didn’t like language supporting Prop 73 saying so and wanted the judge to strike it. But, Superior Court Judge Raymond Cadei said he would not overturn the language saying that other states’ laws have reduced abortions "without danger and harm to minors."

Cadei also required abortion advocates to change the wording of their voting guide language opposing the proposition from saying that girls using the judicial waiver process in abuse or emergency situations would be put "on trial."

He also refused to strike language Prop 73 backers opposed saying "millions of concerned parents" opposed the initiative and did not agree with their desire to make abortion proponents accurately say that the measure could affect girls as young as 10, 11, or 12 and not just teenagers.

Ultimately, the judge let stand most of the current language opposed by both sides. He said each side would have to prove that the language it opposed was factually incorrect and not just a poor way of explaining the proposition.

"We are not here to convince the court that one person’s way of saying it is better than someone else’s," he wrote in his decision.

Changes to the language appearing in the voting guides is now not likely as the Secretary of State is required to print them for the November 8 election by August 15.

A June Field Poll found some 48 percent of California voters back the proposal while 42 percent oppose it.

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.

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

The majority of 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 –