Abortion Notification Measure Sponsors Say They Have Signatures To Qualify Proposal for Ballot
Sponsors of a measure that would require physicians to notify a parent or guardian 48 hours before they perform an abortion on an unmarried minor maintain that they will have the 598,105 voter signatures required to qualify the proposal for the next statewide ballot, the San Diego Union-Tribune reports.
Parents Right to Know and Child Protection Initiative spokesperson Albin Rhomberg said that the group currently has more than 950,000 signatures. Sponsors of the measure must submit the signatures to the state by Thursday to qualify the proposal for the ballot.
Under the measure, the state Department of Health Service would have to maintain detailed records of abortions performed on minors, although the records would exclude names. The measure also would impose civil penalties on individuals who coerce a minor to have an abortion, a provision that "some believe runs afoul of the law that initiatives cannot cover more than one subject," the Union-Tribune reports.
The Legislative Analyst's Office estimates that the measure would reduce the number of abortions performed in the state by 25%.
According to John Green, a political science professor at the University of Akron, "The right-to-life community has determined that it's going to be extremely difficult to overturn Roe v. Wade anytime soon. And so their hope is to restrict abortions by small steps."
Rhomberg said, "Minors, generally speaking, need help, even cleaning their room and a lot of other things -- certainly getting a major medical procedure and coping with the side effects."
However, Planned Parenthood Affiliates of California President Kathy Kneer said, "If they reduce abortions by 25%, that means that we increase pregnancies by that amount." She added, "If they're mature enough to continue a pregnancy, then logically they're mature enough to make a decision to discontinue a pregnancy."
Katherine Spiller, executive director of the Feminist Majority Foundation, said, "It's going to endanger young women's lives and health. Some will just not want to tell their parents that they've been having sex, or they fear violence in the family" (Marelius, San Diego Union-Tribune, 4/12).