Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Vote NO on California's Prop 4

No matter how you feel about abortion, if you care about teen safety, you should Vote NO on Prop 4.

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.
Proposition 4 threatens the safety and well being of California’s teens, especially those who need our help the most. I have four children, ages 9 through 16. I certainly hope that my daughter will come to me if she is faced with an unintended pregnancy, but if for whatever reason she chooses not to, more than anything, I want her to be safe. And I realize that some teens cannot safely involve a parent. Those teens need to access to counseling, support, and responsible medical care. That’s why I’m voting NO on Prop 4.

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


The Cunning Runt said...

Good for you for spreading the reality of this, Karen, to counter the spin of the misguided souls who are championing this crap.

I also heard today that your Prop. * is moving in the wrong direction, but I've maxed out on HRC and can only hope they get some more effective ads out, the ones I've seen so far haven't been very persuasive.

Karen said...

I love their first ad -- the sweet elderly couple talking about loving all three of their kids and trying to treat them all fairly. It starts where we all agree and goes from there. I think it's brilliant.

But, since you don't like the official ads, maybe you'll enjoy this video -- "Gender Auditors" Hilarious. And awful.


Paula Silinger said...

My name is Paula and I’m an intern for Ms. magazine. I just came across your wonderful blog post about California Proposition 4 and wanted to let you know about a new video that has just been released from the Feminist Majority Foundation, the publisher of Ms.

This November, South Dakotans will vote on a draconian abortion ban – Initiated Measure 11. I’m sure you are very aware how dangerous Measure 11 is to women’s reproductive health and rights, as it aims to make it nearly impossible for a woman to obtain an abortion in South Dakota. With help from some celebrities like Camryn Manheim, Amy Brenneman and Sara Ramirez, this video urges people to vote NO on 11 this November on the South Dakota ballot. Check it out/spread it around:

And of course, please check out our Vote No on 4 video:

Please consider posting these videos onto your website so it is made available to your visitors. We must do all that we can to preserve women’s reproductive rights and let women know what’s at risk this election!

Thanks for your consideration,

Paula Silinger
Ms. magazine