October 2, 2005


Little Notice, but a Lot of Emotion: Prop. 73, dealing with parental notification for girls under 18 seeking an abortion, divides voters who otherwise share common ground. (Jenifer Warren, October 3, 2005, LA Times)

Proposition 73 would require physicians to notify parents of girls under 18 before performing an abortion. Only those facing a medical emergency, or obtaining a waiver from a judge, would be exempt.

Supporters, who include Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, say the measure would reduce the teen abortion rate and protect girls by ensuring that they receive a parent's advice when faced with an unintended pregnancy.

Jacobson, 38, a legal assistant in the Sacramento suburb of Elk Grove, shares that view. At 18, she became pregnant and had an abortion. It was a difficult time, she says, adding: "I could not have gotten through it without my mother standing by."

Foes of the measure, including Planned Parenthood and many of the state's large medical organizations, say no law can compel healthy communication between parents and children. They predict that teens fearful of disclosing their pregnancies — those who live in abusive homes, for example, or are victims of incest — could be driven to seek unsafe abortions.

Miles, a 57-year-old school administrator, said personal experience helped her come down on the no side. Pregnant in her early 20s, before the U.S. Supreme Court legalized abortion, she felt she could not confide in her parents and was forced to get permission for the procedure from a panel of psychiatrists at a local hospital.

"It was the most intrusive experience of my life," recalls Miles, who lives in the Sacramento County town of Carmichael.

You'd think having your womb invaded and your child killed might rank right up there in terms of intrusive experiences.

Posted by Orrin Judd at October 2, 2005 11:43 PM

Aw, it was gotten rid of decades ago. She's still around to complain.

Posted by: RC at October 3, 2005 11:57 AM