California Parental Notification on Abortion Leads in Poll, San Diego Paper OKs

State   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Sep 25, 2008   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

California Parental Notification on Abortion Leads in Poll, San Diego Paper OKs

by Steven Ertelt Editor
September 25
, 2008

Sacramento, CA ( — The measure that would try for the third time to allow parents to know when their minor daughters are considering an abortion is leading in a new poll. Meanwhile, the San Diego Union Tribune has endorsed Proposition 4 as a common sense proposal to reduce abortions and help parents.

A Public Policy Institute of California poll finds Proposition 4 finds almost half of likely voters indicate they will support it on the November ballot.

Voters defeated similar measures in 2005 and 2006 but support this one by a 48-41 percentage point margin. California residents were more closely divided in August when a similar survey showed a 47-44 percent lead for the measure.

Meanwhile, a San Diego Union Tribune editorial on Tuesday slammed critics of the parental notification measure.

Questioning the oppositions’ "adamant objection to requiring parental notification or family notification in the few cases of parental abuse," the editorial asks, ""Under what other circumstance would these critics contend that the suspected abuse of a child by her parents should not be reported to authorities?"

Opponents of Proposition 4 "misread the public" states the Union Tribune, noting that most Americans want abortion to be "safe, legal and rare."

The newspaper points out that the 34 states with parental involvement laws have found that these laws reduce teen pregnancies and abortion.

The editorial notes that, unlike earlier parental notification propositions, Prop 4 allows notification of adult family members in lieu of parents in certain circumstances. The San Diego Union-Tribune concludes: "This time, it is a significantly improved proposition," and "It should pass."

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.

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:
Yes on 4 –
Friends of Sarah –

Sign Up for Free Pro-Life News From

Daily Pro-Life News Report Twice-Weekly Pro-Life
News Report
Receive a free daily email report from with the latest pro-life news stories on abortion, euthanasia and stem cell research. Sign up here. Receive a free twice-weekly email report with the latest pro-life news headlines on abortion, euthanasia and stem cell research. Sign up here.