California Newspaper Backs Parental Notification on Abortion Measure

State   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Sep 29, 2006   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

California Newspaper Backs Parental Notification on Abortion Measure Email this article
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by Steven Ertelt Editor
September 29
, 2006

Sacramento, CA ( — Starting what will likely be a long line of editorials on both sides of the debate, a California newspaper has endorse a state ballot initiative that would protect the right of parents to know when their minor daughters are considering an abortion.

The measure will appear on the November ballot for the second time in two years.

The Daily Breeze, a newspaper for residents of the coastal areas west of Los Angeles, says state voters should back the abortion proposal and it calls it "as reasonable as you can get in the often-unreasonable abortion debate."

"Sometimes a proposed reform comes along that makes so much sense it won’t go away or be brushed aside, not by political pundits or by the voters," the newspaper says. "It might come up short at the ballot box in its first airing, but it resurfaces. And that’s because the arguments for it are so much more persuasive than those against it, and because there’s a much better chance that it will do some good than do any harm."

"Such is the case with the idea of requiring parental notification for a minor seeking an abortion. That sort of requirement should be written into the state constitution," the Dailz Breeze wrote.

Proposition 85 is the second effort from pro-life advocates to get a parental notification measure in place. The first try, Proposition 73, was defeated last year.

However, backers of the measure say it appeared in a special election along with a number of proposals from Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger that state residents strongly opposed. They say that a measure featured in a normal election year ballot would receive more support.

The Daily Breeze echoes points made by Prop 85 supporters about how parents, once notified of a potential abortion, can help their daughters make a better decision.

"[O]nce the parent is notified, a dialogue will begin and a family will be brought together by a difficult time that no one — much less, a minor — should have to suffer through alone," the newspaper writes.

The newspaper also takes abortion advocates to task for their characterization of the parental notification proposal.

"The reality of Proposition 85 sure doesn’t resemble the over-the-top caricature sketched by opponents in their official argument against the initiative," the Daily Breeze rights.

"This measure isn’t a return to ‘back-alley abortions’ or an invitation for those seeking abortions to ‘go across the border,’ or an inducement for young girls to "consider suicide.’ Nor is it a threat to the right to an abortion," it adds.

An August Field Poll found voters split 45 to 44 against Proposition 85, which would require abortion practitioners to notify a parent about an abortion a teenager is considering 48 hours before the abortion is done.

The poll found that 52 percent of voters are familiar with Prop. 85, which is higher than awareness of other measures on the November ballot, likely because of last year’s vote.

However, people familiar with the proposal support it 49-45 while those who are not familiar with it oppose it by a 39 to 47 percent margin. That indicates pro-life advocates have a good chance of winning if they can successfully educate more voters about it.

The Field Poll showed Democrats oppose the parental notification measure on a 61 to 28 percent margin, independents oppose it 50-38 and Republicans are almost three to one in favor of it (67 to 24 percent).

Men favor parental notification 53 to 40 but women are opposed by a 51 to 36 percent margin.

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