California Abortion Advocates Persuade Unions to Oppose Parental Notification

State   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Jul 27, 2006   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

California Abortion Advocates Persuade Unions to Oppose Parental Notification Email this article
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by Steven Ertelt Editor
July 27, 2006

Sacramento, CA ( — Pro-abortion groups don’t have much to do with labor unions and their efforts to secure higher wages and benefits for employees. However, California abortion advocates have successfully lobbied key labor unions there to oppose a November ballot proposal requiring parental notification before a teen can have an abortion.

At a meeting of top labor union leaders this week, abortion advocates persuaded them to oppose Proposition 85, a constitutional amendment that would require abortion practitioners to notify parents of a teen before doing an abortion on her.

The pro-abortion Feminist Majority Foundation says it had a large presence at the California Labor Federations 2006 Biennial Convention.

The group says it convinced the AFL-CIO Executive Council to reverse its "no recommendation" stance on the ballot measure to a solid "vote no" position.

“It’s very rare for the executive council to reverse its decision,” said Dolores Huerta, co-founder of the United Farm Workers and a FMF board member.

"Labor is very top-down; workers usually do what their leaders tell them to do. We had some of the big unions on our side, but we needed a two-thirds vote," she added.

Huerta called the labor union position change a "smashing victory" for abortion advocates and it is because labor unions typically turn out a large group of voters and do significant pre-election campaign work.

Huerta and abortion activists handed out literature blasting the parental notification measure to the union bosses before the vote.

“I cannot tell you what an impact we made,” Huerta said. “All these macho labor guys saw these young women here with their feminist shirts on and it really put a face on what we’re fighting for.”

Paul Laubacher of the Parents’ Right to Know group told last month, after the ballot measure qualified, that abortion should be no different from other medical procedures where parents are routinely both told about the procedure and required to approve it.

Laubacher, an intensive care unit nurse and father of two daughters who resides in Sacramento, said “Certainly a mother or father would want to be at least notified before any invasive surgical or medical procedure is performed by an unknown doctor on their minor child."

"It’s just common sense and good public health policy to protect the health and safety of young girls," he added.

The proposal largely mirrors the wording of Proposition 73, which California voters defeated last year by a 52.6 percent to 47.4 percent vote.

However organizers say the measure will fare better in a normal election year. Last year voters only considered several ballot measures supported by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger. All of them went down to defeat, but Proposition 73 received the most votes.

"With so many candidates and such a diversity of issues on the ballot, it is expected that a much more representative group of California voters will turn out to vote compared to the very skewed turnout for the unpopular [special election]," the group said in its statement.

Last year, Planned Parenthood spent $4.5 million to defeat the pro-life proposal and supporters received the most support from James Holman, the publisher of a San Diego weekly newspaper and several Catholic papers.

This year, Holman has given the parental notification campaign $2.2 million to get on the ballot and last year he spent $1.1 million to launch the Proposition 73 campaign.

In a change from 2005, the ballot measure would not include language saying abortion causes the "death of an unborn child, a child conceived but not yet born" and removes reporting requirements on how many waivers judges grant to teens in supposedly abusive home situations.

Contact the California AFL-CIO with your input on their decision at (510) 663-4000 or [email protected]

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