AP/Modesto Bee Examines Parental Notification Measure
Recent polls on Proposition 73 suggest that Californians "will reaffirm voters' long-standing support for unfettered abortion access," but supporters and opponents of the measure "agree the race is competitive enough that either side could prevail by mobilizing motivated voters," the AP/Modesto Bee reports (Leff, AP/Modesto Bee, 11/4).
Proposition 73 would amend the state constitution to require health care providers to inform a parent or guardian 48 hours before performing an abortion on an unmarried minor. Under the measure, a girl could seek a judicial bypass and would receive no-cost legal counsel, a confidential hearing and a ruling within three days on whether she could receive an abortion without notifying her parents (California Healthline, 11/3).
According to the AP/Bee, the idea of parental notification "resonates with many voters" who support legalized abortion but "do not think it is out of line for the state to help a 13-year-old's parents learn she's pregnant."
Although a parental consent law passed in the state in the 1980s was permanently enjoined by the state Supreme Court, backers of Proposition 73 "think their timing is right this time," the AP/Bee reports.
However, opponents of the measure are concerned that "some of the detailed requirements and language spelled out in the measure are overly restrictive," according to the AP/Bee.
Two newspapers recently published articles examining the opinions of teenagers on Proposition 73. Headlines are provided below.
- "Teen Girls Anxious About Abortion-Notification Measure" (May, San Francisco Chronicle, 11/4).
- "Having a Say: Teen Girls in a Pregnancy-Prevention Program Weigh in on Prop. 73" (Walker, Orange County Register, 11/2).
Although California "has a well-deserved reputation for pro-choice politics," Proposition 73 "is a common-sense reform instinctively understood and supported by parents across the political spectrum," Andrew Busch, an associate professor of government at Claremont McKenna College, writes in a Denver Post opinion piece. Busch writes, "The fate of Proposition 73 will help to answer that question of whether that national moral consensus is still intact" (Busch, Denver Post, 11/3).
Proposition 73 is "faulty" because "no matter how much encouraging we do, not all parents and children will have an open, easy or comfortable relationship" and a "48-hour wait, as notification to parents is pending, will not change that," according to a Contra Costa Times editorial. In addition, although Proposition 73 "purports to be about protection," it does not consider "the youths most in need of its protection," such as those in abusive households, the editorial states. The Times recommends state residents vote "no" vote on Proposition 73 (Contra Costa Times, 11/4).
"California Connected" -- a weekly, hourlong newsmagazine produced by PBS stations in Los Angeles, Sacramento, San Diego and San Francisco that covers state events and issues -- on Friday is scheduled to include a segment interviewing voters in Los Angeles about their positions on Proposition 73 ("California Connected," KVIE, 11/4). The complete segment will be available online in Quicktime media format after the broadcast. In addition, a discussion between Youth Radio producers Lisa Aultman, Anyi Howell and Memi Vaughn about their positions on Proposition 73 is available online in Windows Media. The program's "Guide to the Ballot Guides" for Proposition 73 is available online.
In addition, KXJZ's "Capital Public Radio" on Friday reported on Sacramento high school students' opinions on Propositions 73, 78 and 79 (Milne, "Capital Public Radio," KXJZ, 11/4). The complete transcript is available online. The complete segment is available online in Windows Media.
Additional information on Proposition 73 is available online.