California Poll Shows Small Lead for Measure for Parental Notification on Abortion

State   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Aug 28, 2008   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

California Poll Shows Small Lead for Measure for Parental Notification on Abortion

by Steven Ertelt Editor
August 28
, 2008

Sacramento, CA ( — A new poll of California voters find a plurality support a November ballot proposal that would help parents by allowing them to know when their teenage daughters are considering an abortion. Proposition 4 represents the third attempt to give parents the right to be aware of a potential abortion decision.

Likely voters are divided over Proposition 4, which would amend the state Constitution to require that a parent be notified at least 48 hours before a minor has an abortion.

The Public Policy Institute of California conducted the survey and its poll shows 47 percent are in favor and 44 percent are opposed.

Breaking down the poll further, most Republicans (62%) favor the initiative, most Democrats (56%) are opposed, and independents are divided (48% yes, 44% no).

Californians defeated a similar measure in 2005 (47% yes, 53% no) and in 2006 (46% yes, 54% no).

The polling firm also noted that its survey found three percent more Californians take a pro-life position than in a February 2004 poll with the same question.

The notification measure, also called Sarah’s Law, is named for a 15-year-old girl who died just four days after a legal abortion left her with a torn cervix and fatal infection.

The California Secretary of State qualified Sarah’s Law for the November ballot after backers submitted enough signatures for it and named it Proposition 4.

A previous survey, conducted by the Field Poll, found 48 percent of the registered voters polled in the survey would support the parental notification measure while 39 percent would oppose it. Another 13 percent are undecided.

If approved, the measure would require an abortion practitioner to notify a parent or other adult family member before performing an abortion on a minor girl under the age of 18.

That’s a change from the previous proposals, which required only that parents be notified about the potential law.

Supporters hope it will help the measure get more votes, but some pro-life advocates are not supporting the revised initiative because they don’t think anyone other than a girl’s parents should be told about her abortion. They say the revised measure would keep parents in the dark while a family member who may not know the girl or her parents well would be notified instead.

Previously, California Planned Parenthood advocates sued state officials saying Sarah was in a common-law marriage with a man from Texas at the time of her death and wouldn’t need to tell her parents about her potential abortion decision.

Sacramento Superior Court Judge Michael P. Kenny ruled the story about Sarah can stay on the ballot.

Related web sites:
Friends of Sarah –


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