Activists File Lawsuit to Strike “Sarah’s Law” Language from CA Ballot Initiative

In California, the battle over the abortion-notification ballot initiative, Proposition 4, continues with a lawsuit over the language used in the measure. Activist groups including Planned Parenthood Affiliates of California filed a lawsuit with the Sacramento County Superior Court to strike out all references to “Sarah” and “Sarah’s Law” as well as other misleading language in the voter’s guide, according to the Daily Women’s Health Policy Report. “Sarah’s Law” refers to the case of 15-year-old “Sarah” who died as a result of an abortion in 1994.

Proposition 4, requires parental or guardian notification and a 48-hour waiting period before allowing a minor to obtain an abortion. Opponents of the initiative argue that “Sarah” was not considered a minor in Texas, where the abortion was performed, and that she already had a child with a man who claimed to be her common law husband, according to the Los Angeles Times. The lawsuit responds to language added to the initiative that states “Sarah” could have been saved had her parents known about her abortion.


Daily Women's Health Policy Report, 8/4/08; Feminist Newswire, 7/29/08; Los Angeles Times, 8/2/08; CA Secretary of State

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