A new Field Poll (see PDF)released last Friday shows that a narrow majority of California voters favor the state’s latest parental notification initiative. According to the poll’s findings, 49 percent of likely voters are planning to support the ballot initiative, known as Proposition 4, while 41 percent plan to oppose it.
Proposition 4, if passed, would require a 48-hour parental notification period if a woman under 18 years old sought an abortion. While the initiative requires notification, it would not prevent doctors from performing abortions because of parental opposition.
The initiative also says that if the minor comes from an abusive household, the doctor is required to notify the appropriate authorities. Fran Linkin of Planned Parenthood Mar Monte in San Jose opposes the initiative, particularly its approach to dealing with situations of abuse. “We want teenagers in abusive homes to be protected,” she said, according to the San Jose Mercury News. “If she knows she has to come in and notify her parents, then she will put off care completely. She won’t come in if she knows word will get back that will put her in more danger when she goes back to that very same door.”
California voters have rejected two prior parental notification initiatives in the past four years. According to the Mercury News, Linkin remains optimistic about the election’s outcome. “We’ve always lagged in terms of opposition to parental notification, but it’s always pulled through in the end.”