by Steven Ertelt
November 22, 2007
Sacremanto, CA (LifeNews.com) — California Secretary of State Debra Bowen has announced that pro-life advocates in the Golden State can begin collecting signatures for a third try at passing a ballot proposal to provide for parental notification on abortion. The initiative requires teens to wait 48 hours for an abortion so their parents can be notified.
Now, pro-life groups have 150 days to circulate petitions and present the signatures of 694,354 registered voters by April 18 to qualify the ballot proposal.
Under the proposal, teenage girls would wait two days for the abortion so parents could find out about their daughter’s decision. The notification process would be waived in cases where teenagers are in abusive home situations.
Abortion practitioners who violate the notification law would be subject to fines and teenagers could sue if coerced into having an abortion.
After a parental notification ballot measure failed in 2005, pro-life advocates thought it would fare better during a general election. Instead, Proposition 85 did worse than its Proposition 73 companion in the previous election.
The measure, which would have required telling a teenager’s parents about her abortion 48 hours before being able to get one, was defeated 54-46, a two point margin higher than Prop 73 lost in 2005.
Last year, pro-life groups blamed the defeat of the measure on losing the support of Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, who favored the idea in 2005.
Another problem is a lack of funding in what is generally considered a pro-abortion state.
Opponents, led by Planned Parenthood abortion centers, raised more than $5.4 million to defeat the measure while pro-life advocates had about $3 million to promote it.
Carrie Gordon Earll, director of issues analysis for Focus on the Family Action, said that money allowed Planned Parenthood to run misleading commercials.
“Unfortunately, the abortion industry and its political machine made defeating these parental- rights measures an election priority – often misrepresenting what the proposed law would do," she said.
Exit polling shows proponents didn’t connect with minority voters as well as pre-polling data showed they were doing.
White voters opposed the parental notification measure by a 56-44 clip and Hispanic voters were expected to make up the difference with their strong support. Though pre-election polling showed they backed the initiative by a large margin, they split just 50-50 on election day.
Black California residents opposed Prop 85 on a 56-44 percent margin while Asians backed it 53-47.
With any ballot proposal, the attorney general prepares the legal title and summary that is required to appear on initiative petitions.
When the official language is complete, the attorney general forwards it to the proponent and to the secretary of state. The secretary of state then provides calendar deadlines to the proponent and to county elections officials.