This election marks the third time a handful of anti-choice men have paid millions of dollars to signature gatherers to put a Parental Notification Constitutional Amendment on the ballot. Like Propositions 73 (2005) and 85 (2006) before it, Proposition 4 would prohibit young women from obtaining an abortion without government-mandated parental notification -- unless they go to court or document charges of parental abuse.
California voters defeated the previous two attempts because we understand that although parental notification laws may sound good, in the real world they put teenagers in danger. While we hope our teens will tell us if they are facing an unintended pregnancy, more than anything, we want them to be safe.
Most pregnant teens do involve their parents. But sadly, of the teens who don’t, most have very good reasons not to. Some fear being kicked out of the house, beaten, or worse. Others are faced with a difficult family situation, like parental substance abuse or serious health or financial problems, and simply cannot go to their parents.
Laws cannot force family communication! But they can cause desperate teens to do desperate things. We know from experiences in other states with parental notification laws in place that rather than tell a parent, teens:
- Delay care until their 18th birthday, greatly increasing the risk of complications
- Travel to other states where parental notification is not required
- Take matters into their own hands, or seek illegal providers – putting their lives at risk.
The more people learn about Proposition 4 (and Propositions 73 and 85 before it), the more they oppose these dangerous laws. But in this presidential election, we need to reach millions of new voters. Find out how you can help at www.noonprop4.org.