Parental Notification Campaign Remains Contentious
Supporters and opponents of Proposition 85 continue to spar over the effectiveness of parental notification in controlling a minor's sexual behavior, the Los Angeles Times reports (Hall, Los Angeles Times, 10/17).
Like Proposition 73 in 2005, Proposition 85 would require unmarried minors to notify a parent or guardian within 48 hours before undergoing an abortion. The initiative includes exceptions for medical emergencies, emancipated minors and judicial waivers (California Healthline, 10/12).
The measure's supporters say a parental notification mandate could discourage underage youths from having sex and would help expose statutory rape and sexual abuse cases that are typically unreported to child protective services.
Kathy Kneer -- CEO of Planned Parenthood Affiliates of California and critic of the measure -- said the claim that opponents are benefiting child sexual predators by concealing information is "ludicrous." Kneer said the law is unnecessary because teen pregnancy rates in the state have declined without a parental notification measure in effect.
Kneer said Planned Parenthood expects to raise $5 million to oppose Proposition 85 (Los Angeles Times, 10/17).
"Parents under most circumstances have a right to know what sort of medical procedures their children are undergoing," but Proposition 85 should be defeated because voters already rejected this initiative last year, a Los Angeles Daily News editorial states. "The proponents are dismissing [last year's votes] and the public sentiment" by reintroducing the measure again (Los Angeles Daily News, 10/14).
KPBS' "KPBS News" on Monday reported on Proposition 85. The segment includes comments from:
- Ted Joyce, an economist at Baruch College at City University of New York and author of a study on the changes in abortions and births since a parental notification law took effect in 2000;
- Jo Pastore, assistant supervisor in the juvenile division of the San Diego County public defender's office;
- David Preskill, a retired gynecologist and board member for a local chapter of Planned Parenthood, which opposes Proposition 85; and
- Albin Rhomberg, spokesperson for the campaign in favor of Proposition 85 (Goldberg, "KPBS News," KPBS, 10/16).
The complete segment is available online in Quicktime media format. This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.