Latino Community Debates Parental Notification Measure
The Latino community has become an important constituency in determining the outcome of Proposition 85, the Sacramento Bee reports (Hecht, Sacramento Bee, 10/23).
Proposition 85 would require parental notification within 48 hours before an abortion is performed on an unmarried minor, with exceptions for judicial waivers and medical emergencies (California Healthline, 10/3).
Opponents and backers of the initiative are targeting the Latino community, a predominantly Democratic constituency that the Bee reports is "more likely to part with their party's abortion rights views" and vote in favor of the initiative.
Campaigns in the Latino community regarding the measure have centered on neighborhood churches. Churches are prohibited under federal guidelines from directly campaigning for or against a candidate, but they are allowed to take stances on issues and distribute voter materials.
Latino parishes have held "Yes on 85" rallies and include fliers for the initiative in church bulletins.
Some Latino opponents of the measure have led a campaign called "Protection and Security," saying that the initiative cannot legislate family relations and that it could cause additional harm to minors who live in abusive homes.
Supporters of the measure say that parental consent is required for other surgeries that are nonemergency, so there is no reason why a minor should be allowed to have an abortion without notifying a parent or guardian.
Margaret Cosby -- an attorney for the American Civil Liberties Union of Northern California -- says that the measure could compromise an "explicit right to privacy" guaranteed in the California constitution and result in "a major restriction on abortion rights for young women" in the state.
Parental notification laws are in place in 35 states (Sacramento Bee, 10/23).