A California judge has ruled against Planned Parenthood and its allies who challenged the content of a voter information pamphlet’s arguments in support of Proposition 4, a ballot measure requiring abortionists to notify at least one adult relative before performing an abortion on a minor.
The arguments reference the story of “Sarah,” a 15-year-old who died in 1994 after suffering complications from a secretly obtained legal abortion, in addition to stories of other underage girls who obtained abortions without their parents’ knowledge.
Opponents of the pamphlet’s content argued that Sarah’s story should be removed from the pamphlets. They specifically object to the sentence “Had someone in her family known about the abortion, Sarah's life could have been saved.” While a Planned Parenthood lawyer called the claim “absolutely false,” Sacramento Superior Court Judge Michael P. Kenny disagreed, the California Catholic Daily reports.
The judge also ruled that the label “Sarah’s Law,” the proponents’ name for Proposition 4, could also be used in the pamphlet.
Challengers objected to other stories included in the pro-Proposition 4 arguments. In one case cited in the pamphlet, a 14-year-old girl on whom a Planned Parenthood clinic had performed a secret abortion was then provided a contraceptive injection at the request of the adult male who brought her in. In another case, a 14-year-old girl was lured from home by a 41-year-old man who made the girl his sex slave and arranged for her secret abortion with a Planned Parenthood affiliate, whose clinic did not report the girl’s victimization.
Judge Kenny refused to remove or to change the stories.
“We made some very, very bold statements – for example that no girl had ever been harmed by a parental notification law -- and Planned Parenthood was simply unable to come up with any evidence that that had ever happened,” said attorney Katie Short, who argued on behalf of Proposition 4 proponents.
Albin Rhomberg, a principal advisor to the Proposition 4 campaign, told CNA on Monday that he was “almost absolutely certain” that a further appeal of Judge Kenny’s decision had not been filed by Planned Parenthood or its allies as of Monday morning.
He told CNA that the deadline for filing voter materials is for the state of California was 5:00 pm on Monday. Rhomberg believed that judges would not allow further legal action concerning the voter pamphlet to delay or impede the election.
If no appeal is successfully lodged, over 13 million pamphlets containing the ballot arguments will be sent out to California voters.