Reader editor Jim Holman launches fourth parental-notification ballot measure
OK, so we don’t actually know for sure it’s Holman. But, like with 2008’s Prop. 4 (which Holman ran out of the Reader offices on India Street), a “John Smith” signed the letter (PDF) to the state Attorney General’s initiative coordinator. There’s no contact information listed. And, like Prop. 4, the title’s the same: “Parental Notification, Child and Teen Safety, and Stop Predators Act” (the “predators” part comes from the Prop. 4 camp’s allegation that sexual predators regularly impregnate teen girls and then secretly force them to have abortions).
It’s pretty much the same stuff as before: The ballot initiative would amend the California Constitution—which currently guarantees privacy to any woman seeking an abortion—to say that “a physician shall not perform an abortion on an unemancipated minor until at least 48 hours has elapsed after the physician or the physician’s agent has delivered written notice” to the girl’s parent or legal guardian. Like Prop. 4, notice isn’t required if the girl can prove she’s a victim of physical or sexual abuse by one or both of her parents. To do this, she needs to get a family member who’s 21 or older, a law-enforcement officer or child protective services to sign and notarize a statement documenting the abuse. If a family member signs the statement, it’ll be turned over to law enforcement.
The girl can also ask a judge to waive the notification requirement.
Any physician who performs an abortion on a minor without parental consent “shall be liable for damages in a civil action” by the girl or “by a parent wrongfully denied notification.”
The California Department of Public Health will also be required to produce an annual report on all abortions performed on minors (the report won’t contain the names of doctor or their patients).
Prop. 4 was defeated in November 2008 with 52 percent voting no.
Prop. 4’s predecessor, Prop. 85, was defeated in 2006 with 54 percent voting no.
Prop. 85’s predecessor, Prop. 73, was defeated in 2005 with 52.7 percent voting no.