San Francisco Chronicle Examines Provisions of Parental Notification Measure
The San Francisco Chronicle on Thursday examined Proposition 73, which would amend the state constitution to require health care providers to notify 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. The Legislative Analyst's Office estimates that this component of the proposition would cost juvenile courts "several million" dollars annually.
Proposition 73 also would require doctors to report statistics on abortions to the Department of Health Services, including the doctor's name and the date and location of where the abortion was performed. In addition, doctors would be required to provide to DHS the month and year of a minor patient's birth, but patients' names would not be reported.
Proposition 73 includes an exception for parental notification if a doctor determines that an abortion is needed to prevent the patient's death or if a delay would "create serious risk of substantial and irreversible impairment of a major bodily function."
The article on Proposition 73 is the first in a series addressing the eight measures that will appear on the ballot for the Nov. 8 special election (Lucas, San Francisco Chronicle, 9/29).
"It's conceivable that all of [Schwarzenegger's] endorsements are consistent with his pro-business agenda -- except for the abortion one, where he joined three rigid pro-life Catholics who funded it," Peter Schrag, a columnist for the Sacramento Bee, writes. Schrag adds that "his office took pains to explain that he remained steadfastly pro-choice -- anything less would presumably have prompted him to let it be known once again that ... Maria Shriver had kicked him out of bed" (Schrag, Sacramento Bee, 9/28).
Additional information on Proposition 73 is available online.