OK, so I’m reading the Reuters newswire, and what do I see but a story about California. And, what I saw made me nervous for the future of our state and the women who live there. I’m posting the body of the article for anyone to read.
There is a proposition on the ballot that will most likely pass unless people make enough noise to stop it. Fight for women’s rights and safety by voting no on Proposition 73. While, it may sound like an honest enough proposal to have doctors notify the parents’ of girls younger than 18 if they are trying to get an abortion, the prop goes farther than that by including the “morning-after” pill, RU-486, and including language that would define the term abortion in such a way as to possibly open a door to future attacks on abortion rights.
This is an important issue to me. We don’t need to go backward in defining women’s rights, we should be moving forward, and this is an assault on what we have already gained.
Abortion least-known measure in California ballot
By Jill Serjeant
LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - California, seen as one of the most sexually liberated U.S. states, could limit teenagers’ access to abortion next week in the least known but most divisive ballot measure in a lackluster special election.
Proposition 73 asks voters to decide whether doctors should be required by law to notify parents or guardians of girls under 18, 48 hours before they can legally perform abortions or administer the so-called morning-after pill RU-486.
Proponents of the November 8 ballot measure — a coalition of anti-abortion groups, family organizations and the Catholic and some Protestant churches — say it is about parental rights and the protection of children.
“Parents are not the enemy,” said Stan Devereux, spokesman for YesonProp73.
“If children need to get permission to receive an aspirin at school or parental permission to leave school grounds for a field trip, it makes sense that mom or dad should be notified that their young daughter is going to have a serious surgical procedure such as abortion,” Devereux said.
California has the 7th highest rate of teen pregnancy in the United States and the 4th highest rate of teen abortions. If the measure passes, California will join 34 other U.S. states that require parents to consent or be notified of a minor’s abortion.
Opponents — Planned Parenthood, the American Academy of Pediatrics and others — say that like most issues surrounding the controversial topic, Proposition 73 is not that straightforward.
They say that some pregnant teens do not want to involve their parents because they fear getting beaten up. Imposing parental notification could mean girls delaying medical care or trying to provoke their own abortions, they say.
What worries those in the “No” camp most is that the measure would insert language into the California state constitution that defines abortion as the death of “a child conceived but not yet born”.
If passed — and Proposition 73 is too close to call in opinion polls — this language could be used to challenge the legality of hormonal birth control pills and open the way to interpreting abortion as murder, opponents say. Backers of the measure deny any back-door assault on wider abortion rights.
“I think there is an attempt at manipulation which is very dangerous and people don’t really understand the legal implications of this,” said Curren Warf, a Los Angeles specialist in adolescent medicine.
“At first blush, who would be against parental notification? Most (pregnant) kids do talk to their parents. About 30 percent of those who don’t have already experienced some family violence, so for some there is a real risk of being physically punished or kicked out of the house,” Warf said.
Despite emotions running high on both sides, Proposition 73 has been drowned out by the noise surrounding California governor Arnold Schwarzenegger’s initiatives on teacher tenure, union political contributions, the state budget and redistricting.
“It has been very slow to get the attention we think it deserves,” said Kathy Kneer, president of Planned Parenthood Affiliates of California, which lacks the funds for a TV blitz.Filed under Science & Politics |