AP/Sacramento Bee Examines Support, Opposition for Parental Notification Measure
The AP/Sacramento Bee on Saturday examined arguments by supporters and opponents of Proposition 73, which would amend the state constitution to require health care providers to notify a parent or guardian 48 hours before they perform an abortion on an unmarried minor. Proposition 73 appears on the Nov. 8 special election ballot.
If the proposition were approved, California would become the 16th state to require parental notification. The measure would not mandate parental consent, as is currently required in 19 states.
Supporters of the ballot measure hope that requiring parental notification would reduce California's abortion rate among teenagers, currently the fourth-highest in the nation.
Albin Rhomberg -- a spokesperson for Parents' Right to Know, which supports Proposition 73 -- said, "The idea is to create a waiting or reflection period so, in principle, there is time for a parent to be involved and do some counseling."
According to the AP/Bee, "opponents plan to focus on the reluctance many voters have to amend a document as binding as a constitution."
Maggie Crosby, a lawyer with the American Civil Liberties Union of Northern California, expressed concern about the clause in the proposed amendment that would define abortion as a procedure that "causes the death of the unborn child," rather than a fetus or embryo. Crosby said the terminology "can have far-reaching consequences on everything from stem cell research to fertility treatments, and it's totally unnecessary to the definition of abortion" (Leff, AP/Sacramento Bee, 9/17).
Additional information on Proposition 73 is available online.