California Battle on Parental Notification Abortion Measure Heating Up

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

California Battle on Parental Notification Abortion Measure Heating Up Email this article
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by Steven Ertelt Editor
October 9
, 2006

Sacramento, CA ( — The battle over a measure on the ballot in California is about to heat up as abortion advocates prepare a multimillion dollar campaign against it and newspapers begin a slate of editorials bashing the measure. But pro-life advocates aren’t giving up their bid to help parents and teenagers and plan a campaign of their own.

Voters defeated a similar proposal one year ago by a 52.6 to 47.4 percent margin but organizers brought the notification idea back this year figuring it would fare better in a more normal election cycle.

Proposition 85 would require abortion practitioners to notify a parent about an abortion a teenager is considering 48 hours before the abortion is done.

The battle is close — an August Field Poll showed voters split 45 to 44 against Proposition 85 — and abortion advocates know they need to hit hard during the last few weeks of the campaign to convince voters to oppose it.

Steve Smith, manager of the No on 85 Campaign, told the Associated Press that his group, a project of the Planned Parenthood Affiliates of California, is planning to spend millions of dollars in the final weeks leading up to the election to defeat it.

Albin Rhomberg, a spokesman for the Yes on 85 Campaign, admitted that his group doesn’t have much money to counter the Planned Parenthood campaign, but warns voters to prepare for a heavy dose of misinformation.

"Some speculate that the sky will fall if this passes, which is nonsense," he said.

He still thinks voters will be more inclined to support the parental notification measure this time around compared to 2005. Then, voters were angered by a number of proposals Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger put on the ballot.

"There was this general tidal wave of opposition to the special election, and we were all caught up in it," Rhomberg explained to AP. "We won a majority of counties, a majority of Assembly districts and a majority of congressional districts.”

Schwarzenegger spokeswoman Julie Soderlund says his position hasn’t changed since last year, when he endorsed the parental notification measure.

Newspapers have been split on the measure with the San Diego Union-Tribune, Long Beach Press Telegram, the Daily Breeze, Paradise Post, Orange County Register and Antelope Valley Press supporting it while many others have issued editorials urging voters to reject 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.

The California Catholic Conference, former California Supreme Court Justice William Clark, and Dr. Joseph Zanga, past president of the American Academy of Pediatrics all back the measure.

Related web sites:
Yes on 85 –
Parents Right to Know –