.- A proposed California ballot initiative to require parental notification for abortions and another initiative to end the death penalty both won the support of the stateâs Catholic bishops, who say the proposals will bring âcommon sense, compassion and prudent justiceâ to public policy.
Both initiatives bring into focus âimportant moral issuesâ about how society treats ânascent life, family life, and even a sinful or errant life.â
Social policy should ârespect and support the role of parentsâ while justice should âuphold human dignity as it protects the community,â the bishops said.
Backers of both initiatives are trying to gather enough support to place them on the 2012 ballot.
The bishops detailed the reasons for their support in a statement published by the California Catholic Conference.
The Parental Notification Initiative would require a girl aged 12-17 to include her parents in a decision to obtain an abortion. Current law allows secrecy for âconfidential medical services,â which the California bishops said could allow a girl to have multiple abortions at state expense without her parentsâ knowledge.
Parents are responsible for their daughtersâ medical and emotional needs, but present policy denies them accurate information about her health, the bishops added.
âAs Catholics, we believe and teach that we bear the image of God. We come to life as the result of humanityâs collaboration in Godâs creative work,â they said.
The family has the duty to care for children, and government âserves bestâ when it supports families in âtheir irreplaceable task of nurturing the next generation.â
The bishops also support an initiative its sponsors call SAFE California, an anti-death penalty measure which claims to offer Savings, Accountability and Full Enforcement.
The proposal would replace the death penalty with life imprisonment without parole.
âWe have long held that the use of the death penalty is no longer necessary to protect the community,â the bishops said.
âAs Catholics we hold human life as sacred. In the exercise of justice, this principle must prevail in the manner we treat one another, even for those who have done grave harm. Justice requires proportionate and effective means in the protection of society. As citizens, we find the use of the death penalty unnecessary, impractical and expensive.â