ABORTION: Lockyer Reverses Lungren’s Order To Restrict In-School Counseling
Newly sworn-in state Attorney General Bill Lockyer (D) yesterday reversed the last-minute action of his predecessor, Dan Lungren (R), that allowed school districts to bar students who lacked parental consent from receiving pregnancy or abortion counseling. Lockyer said, "This opinion, issued by an anti-choice politician in the dead of night without adequate review, does not reflect thorough legal analysis." Lungren said it was "fine" if Lockyer wanted to withdraw his decision, saying, "His great statement is that parents don't even have a right to know." The San Francisco Chronicle reports that Lungren's ruling, issued last Thursday, stated that the issue of parental consent had "not been specifically addressed by the Legislature," and "concluded that schools do not have to provide pregnancy and abortion counseling" to students without parental consent, because minors can "simply go to another clinic."
Sigh Of Relief
The Chronicle reports that abortion rights advocates and school administrators, who had argued that Lungren's order was contrary to a California Supreme Court ruling that struck down a parental-consent abortion law "breathed a sigh of relief" at Lockyer's reversal. Lowell High School counselor May Choi said, "Parents should feel lucky if their kids find an adult in a school setting to talk to. So why should we discourage it more?" State Sen. Raymond Haynes (R-Riverside), the conservative lawmaker whose request for guidelines initiated Lungren's decision, "called Lockyer's actions unprecedented and accused the new attorney general of playing politics" (Chiang, 1/7). Click here for past coverage of this issue.