Argument in Favor of Proposition 73
IN CALIFORNIA, a daughter under 18 can’t get an aspirin from the school nurse, get a flu shot, or have a tooth pulled without a parent knowing.
HOWEVER, surgical or chemical abortions can be secretly performed on minor girls—even 13 years old or younger—without parents’ knowledge.
PARENTS are then not prepared to help young daughters with any of the serious physical, emotional, or psychological complications which may result from an abortion or to protect their daughters from further sexual exploitation and pregnancies.
A study of over 46,000 pregnancies of school-age girls in California found that over two-thirds were impregnated by adult men whose mean age was 22.6 years.
Investigations have shown that secret abortions on minors in California are rarely reported to child protective services although these pregnancies are evidence of statutory rape and sexual abuse. This leaves these girls vulnerable to further sexual abuse, rapes, pregnancies, abortions, and sexually transmitted diseases.
That’s why more than ONE MILLION SIGNATURES were submitted to allow Californians to vote on the "Parents’ Right to Know and Child Protection” Proposition 73.
PROP. 73 will require that one parent or guardian be notified at least 48 hours before an abortion is performed on a minor daughter.
PARENTS AND DAUGHTERS in more than 30 other states have benefited for years from laws like Prop. 73. Many times, after such laws pass, there have been substantial reductions in pregnancies and abortions among minors.
When parents are involved and minors cannot anticipate secret access to free abortions they more often avoid the reckless behavior which leads to pregnancies. Older men, including Internet predators, are deterred from impregnating minors when secret abortions are not available to conceal their crimes.
If she chooses, a minor may petition juvenile court to permit an abortion without notifying a parent. She can request a lawyer to help her. If the evidence shows she is mature enough to decide for herself or that notifying a parent is not in her best interests, the judge will grant her petition. The proceedings must be confidential, prompt, and free. She may also seek help from juvenile court if she is being coerced by anyone to consent to an abortion.
POLLS SHOW most people support parental notification laws. They know that a minor girl—pregnant, scared, and possibly abandoned or pressured by an older boyfriend—needs the advice and support of a parent.
PARENTS have invested more attention and love in raising their daughter, know her personal and medical history better, and care more about her future than strangers employed by abortion clinics profiting from performing many abortions on minors.
A minor still has a right to obtain or refuse an abortion, but a parent can help her understand all options, obtain competent care, and provide medical records and history.
An informed parent can also get prompt care for hemorrhage, infections, and other possibly fatal complications.
Vote “YES” on PROP. 73 TO ALLOW PARENTS TO CARE FOR AND PROTECT THEIR MINOR DAUGHTERS!
WILLIAM P. CLARK, California Supreme Court Justice, 1973–1981
MARY L. DAVENPORT, M.D., Fellow of the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists
MARIA GUADALUPE GARCIA, Organizing Director
Parents’ Right to Know and Child Protection/YES ON 73
Rebuttal to Argument in Favor of Proposition 73
KEEPING TEENS SAFE IS A PRIMARY CONCERN TO PARENTS, BUT Prop. 73’s proponents believe government can force teens to communicate with their parents. Who’s kidding who? FAMILY COMMUNICATION CAN’T BE “REQUIRED” BY GOVERNMENT. Talking to our daughters about responsible sexual behavior when they’re young is the best way to protect them.
In fact, MOST TEENS DO TALK TO THEIR PARENTS, BUT SOME JUST CAN’T SAFELY. Proponents are wrong when they say those teens can easily go to court. IT’S UNREASONABLE TO EXPECT VULNERABLE, SCARED TEENAGERS FROM ABUSIVE FAMILIES TO SIMPLY “GO TO COURT.” California courthouses are crowded; these teens don’t need to endure a court proceeding.
The proponents are wrong when they assert that Internet predators and statutory rapists will be deterred from their despicable actions by new laws like these. THAT’S PREPOSTEROUS—it’s just included to scare voters.
What proponents don’t tell you is this law FORCES DOCTORS TO REPORT these procedures TO THE GOVERNMENT—why does government need to know? They’ve also slipped into their initiative language adding “unborn child, a child conceived but not born” to our Constitution. What does that have to do with notification? We don’t know.
What we do know is that THE CALIFORNIA SUPREME COURT, looking at the experience of other states with similar laws, CONCLUDED THAT THE EVIDENCE “OVERWHELMINGLY” SHOWS THESE LAWS DO NOT SUPPORT FAMILIES, BUT IN FACT, PUT TEENAGERS IN DANGER.
California’s League of Women Voters, medical experts, and millions of concerned parents urge you to VOTE NO.
DEBORAH BURGER, RN, President
California Nurses Association
KATHY KNEER, CEO
Planned Parenthood Affiliates of California
A. ERIC RAMOS, M.D., President
California Academy of Family Physicians
Argument Against Proposition 73
PARENTS RIGHTFULLY WANT TO BE INVOLVED IN THEIR TEENAGERS’ LIVES and all parents want what is best for their children. BUT GOOD FAMILY COMMUNICATION CAN’T BE IMPOSED BY GOVERNMENT.
Parents care most about keeping their children safe. That means always safe, even if they feel they can’t come to us and tell us everything.
Family communication must begin long before a teen faces an unplanned pregnancy. The best way to protect our daughters is to begin talking about responsible, appropriate sexual behavior from the time they are young and fostering an atmosphere that assures them they can come to us.
Even teenagers who have good relationships with their parents might be afraid to talk to them about something as sensitive as pregnancy.
And sadly, some teens live in troubled homes. The family might be having serious problems, or parents might be abusive, or a relative may even have caused the pregnancy.
THIS LAW PUTS THOSE VULNERABLE TEENAGERS—THOSE WHO MOST NEED PROTECTION—IN HARM’S WAY, OR FORCES THEM TO GO TO COURT. Think about it: the girl is already terrified, she’s pregnant, her family is abusive or worse. She’s not going to be marching up to a judge in a crowded courthouse. She doesn’t need a judge, she needs a counselor.
Mandatory notification laws make scared, pregnant teens who can’t go to their parents do scary things, instead of going to the doctor to get the medical help they need. In other states, when parental notification laws make teenagers choose between talking with parents or having illegal or unsafe abortions, some teens choose the illegal abortion—even though it is dangerous. Sometimes teenagers are just teenagers.
And if, in desperation, teenagers turn to illegal, self-induced or back-alley abortions many will suffer serious injuries and some will die.
The CALIFORNIA NURSES ASSOCIATION,
CALIFORNIA ACADEMY OF FAMILY PHYSICIANS, AND
THE CALIFORNIA MEDICAL ASSOCIATION ALL
OPPOSE Proposition 73. Mandatory notification laws may sound good, but, in the real world, they just put teenagers in real danger.
THE REAL ANSWER TO TEEN PREGNANCY IS PREVENTION, AND STRONG, CARING FAMILIES—NOT NEW LAWS THAT ENDANGER OUR DAUGHTERS.
California’s teen pregnancy rate dropped significantly over the last decade without constitutional amendments or forced notification laws. That’s because doctors, nurses, parents, teachers, and counselors are teaching teenagers about responsibility, abstinence, and birth control. These programs will help keep our daughters safe and out of trouble.
Talking to our daughters when they are young and fostering a place where they can freely communicate is the best solution.
BUT IF—FOR WHATEVER REASON—OUR DAUGHTERS CAN’T OR THEY WON’T COME TO US, WE MUST MAKE SURE THEY GET SAFE, PROFESSIONAL MEDICAL ATTENTION AND QUALITY COUNSELING FROM CARING DOCTORS AND NURSES.
As parents, we want to know when our daughters face a decision like this so we can be helpful and supportive. But also, as parents, our daughters’ safety is more important than our desire to be informed.
Please join us in voting NO on Proposition 73.
ROBERT L. BLACK, M.D., FAAP, Officer of the Board
American Academy of Pediatrics, California District
RUTH E. HASKINS, M.D., Chair
Committee on Legislation, American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, District IX California
DEBORAH BURGER, RN, President
California Nurses Association
Rebuttal to Argument Against Proposition 73
THE OPPONENTS JUST DON’T UNDERSTAND:
1. How parental notification laws work.
2. How the juvenile court system works.
3. How the abortion industry works.
Opponents say that “in the real world” notification laws “just put teenagers in real danger.” But OVER THIRTY STATES already have such laws, and THEIR REAL WORLD EXPERIENCE SHOWS THESE LAWS REDUCE MINORS’ PREGNANCY AND ABORTION RATES WITHOUT DANGER AND HARM TO MINORS.
If an abused minor does not want a parent notified, Prop. 73 requires strict confidentiality and an appointed guardian to assist her in juvenile court proceedings, usually informal and in judges’ private chambers. The judge will decide whether it is in the girl’s best interest to involve a parent, or whether she is mature and well-informed to decide—and will report evidence of abuse to a child protective agency so abuse problems will be addressed. The opponents’ solution allows a secret abortion and return to the abuse.
Opponents say that parents “must make sure” their daughters “get safe professional medical attention” from “caring doctors.”
BUT HOW? PARENTS WHO ARE KEPT IN THE DARK CAN’T ENSURE ANYTHING FOR THEIR DAUGHTERS. Minors getting secret abortions don’t seek out “quality counseling” and “caring doctors.” They are shuttled through abortion clinics where no one knows them or has their medical records or history.
THE LOS ANGELES TIMES REPORTED MANY ABORTION BUSINESSES ARE “CHOP SHOPS” WHERE SUBSTANDARD CARE RESULTS IN INJURIES AND DEATH.
PARENTAL NOTIFICATION WORKS.
FOR OUR DAUGHTERS’ SAFETY, HEALTH, AND PROTECTION, VOTE YES on 73!
PROFESSOR TERESA STANTON COLLETT, J.D.
National Authority on Parental Notification and Involvement Laws
JANE E. ANDERSON, M.D., FAAP, Clinical Professor of Pediatrics, University of California, San Francisco, School of Medicine
KATHERINE R. DOWLING, M.D., FAAP, FAAFP
Associate Professor Emeritus, Family Medicine University of Southern California, School of Medicine