Parental Notification Measure Seen as Threat to Abortion Rights, Experts Suggest
Proposition 73 likely failed because voters were concerned it would weaken abortion rights at a time of "energized debate" over whether new appointments to the U.S. Supreme Court could result in the overturning of Roe v. Wade, political experts said Wednesday, the Sacramento Bee reports. The measure was defeated on Tuesday by a margin of 52.6% to 47.4% (Hecht, Sacramento Bee, 11/10).
Proposition 73 would have amended 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 have sought a judicial bypass and would have received 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, 11/9).
New York-based Physicians for Reproductive Choice and Health in a statement said, "The defeat of Proposition 73 has huge national significance because it is another indication that we're turning the tide in focusing debate about abortion on health care instead of political rhetoric" (Sacramento Bee, 11/10).
However, Elizabeth Creely of the Bay Area Coalition for Our Reproductive Rights said, "Prop. 73 went down, but it failed by a narrow margin. California is not a safe state (for abortion rights). They (Republicans) found a lot of energy out there."
According to Gary Marx, a GOP consultant who encouraged evangelical Christians to support Proposition 73, the narrow defeat of the measure shows that religion may become more involved in California politics, the San Francisco Chronicle reports (Garofoli, San Francisco Chronicle, 11/10).
The Los Angeles Times reports that supporters of Proposition 73 have "vowed to regroup," and some religious and conservative groups that advocated the measure "said they would use their combined energy to take on" issues, such as Medi-Cal payments for abortion and restrictions on sex education (Warren, Los Angeles Times, 11/10).