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Indybay Feature
Sat Sep 30 2006 (Updated 11/09/06)
California's Prop 85 Defeated
Even as Teen Pregnancy and Abortion Rates Decline, Rightwing Tries to Limit Access
In San Francisco, pro-choice activists gathered on November 8th to learn about the history of abortion laws, and to consider the possibilities that face the pro-choice movement in the future. Proposition 85, the "Waiting Period and Parental Notification Before Termination of a Minor's Pregnancy" initiative, was rejected by California voters in the Tuesday, November 7th, 2006 general election. It would have amended California's state constitution to young women under the age of 18 from obtaining abortion care without government-mandated parental notification. One of the "helpful" provisions of the act was that it would "allow a minor to seek help from the juvenile court if anyone attempts to coerce her to have an abortion." (?!) It also would have allowed for a parent to sue if they were not notified of an abortion that had been provided in an situation other than a medical emergency. Prop 85 was almost identical to last year's ballot initiative, Proposition 73, a dangerous and divisive ballot measure that lost. The No on 85 Campaign organized people to volunteer in the campaign offices, to organize house parties, and to help raise funds.

Opponents of Prop 85 pointed out that California's adolescent pregnancy, birth, and abortion rates have declined in the last ten years. A typical argument says, "I hope my daughter would come to me if she got pregnant. But if she or any other teen could not, for whatever reason, more than anything else I want her to be safe. I want her to get good medical care and counseling, not resort to drastic measures...there are some teens (who) may be in danger if a parent is notified. Sadly, not all families are like ours. Some teens live with violence or neglect and some teens are subject to sexual abuse. We cannot further victimize them. For these reasons, professional caregivers like the California Medical Association, California Association of Family Physicians, and the American Academy of Pediatrics all oppose Prop 85." NARAL Pro-Choice America says, "The best way to protect teens is to give them the tools and resources to prevent an unintended pregnancy in the first place." Read more

CAHL Fact Sheet: Adolescents and Parental Notification for Abortion | NARAL Pro-Choice California | No on 85 website | Planned Parenthood Golden Gate
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