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California to Vote on Parental Notification Initiative, Again

A parental notification initiative has qualified for November’s ballot in California. A similar initiative (Proposition 73) was proposed in November 2005, but lost 53 to 47 percent. The new initiative is proposed and funded by the same group that proposed the initiative in 2005, but wording defining abortion as Ôthe death of an unborn child, conceived but not yet born” has been eliminated, according to the Kaiser Daily Women’s Health Policy Report.

The “Parents Right to Know and Child Protection Act” requires that a parent or legal guardian of a young woman under the age of 18 be notified 48 hours before the woman may legally have an abortion. If it is not in the best interest of the young woman to inform her parent or guardian of her intention to have an abortion, she may ask a judge for a waiver of the notification requirement.

Women’s health advocates argue that requiring parental permission for underage girls adds extra trauma to those in abusive or incestuous relationships, and favors young women with the education and resources to go through the process. Obtaining a waiver from a judge is a difficult process for a young woman to undertake, and the result can be contingent on the personal beliefs of the judge issuing the waiver.

Sources:

Kaiser Daily WomenÕs Health Policy Report 6/22/06; Mercury News 6/22/06; San Francisco Chronicle 6/21/06

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