A new poll shows that California likely voters tend to support the ballot proposal Proposition 4, which would require abortionists to notify at least one adult relative before performing an abortion on a minor. The proposition is reportedly supported by a 48 to 41 percent margin among likely voters.
Proponents say the initiative would stop teenage girls from obtaining “secret” abortions under pressure from the older adult men who get them pregnant. The proposal is called “Sarah’s Law,” named after a young girl who decided to have an abortion without her family’s knowledge. Her cervix was torn during the procedure and she died as a result.
A new Public Policy Institute of California (PPIC) poll, conducted from September 9 to September 16, showed support for Proposition 4 in a survey of 2,002 adult Californians, including 1,157 likely voters.
The poll, which claims a three percent margin of error for likely voters, reports that 48 percent of likely voters would vote yes on Proposition 4, while 41 percent would vote no. About 11 percent responded that they did not know how they would vote.
Charles Gallagher, campaign manager for the group Yes on 4, said the poll results demonstrate that a “plurality” of voters support “sensible parental notification laws that craft very workable exceptions to protect the health and welfare of adolescent girls.”
“This is not a red state/blue state issue,” Gallagher said in a press release, noting that over 30 states have similar laws.
“The public knows Prop. 4 will confront Child Predators,” he continued. “Adult predator boyfriends often encourage young girls to have an abortion to cover up evidence of statutory rape.”
Gallagher added that the support for Proposition 4 “undoubtedly reflects the fact that current state law requires parents to give permission before their child can get aspirin at school, their ears pierced, or use a tanning salon. Our state's parents sensibly want to be notified if their teenage daughter is getting a surgical procedure terminating a pregnancy.”
“Our message is mainstream. Our challenge is to raise the resources to reach undecided voters who can close the gap on election day.
“The half-truths by our opponents are clearly being rejected by the voters who favor family involvement,” his statement concluded.
Yes on 4 volunteer Margi Pearson spoke to CNA by phone, saying this election’s campaign has had “a lot more press than we did in the past,” adding that more people are available to be spokespersons on radio stations.
She noted that Proposition 4 was even endorsed by the San Diego Union-Tribune, which Pearson characterized as having a very “liberal” or “pro-choice” bent.
Yes on 4 campaign manager Charles Gallagher told CNA in a Thursday phone interview that the proposal has been on the ballot twice before.
“This campaign is different, our message is different,” he said. “We’ve built a coalition of people, people who are pro-life and pro-choice, but our focus is on parental notification.”
Past campaigns, he said, had “turned into an argument over abortion.”
“People hadn’t focused upon the fact that this is about parental notification,” he said, adding that new provisions for minors in abusive situations were added to the ballot proposal to accommodate past objections.
Explaining his claim that the proposal’s opponents have used “half-truths,” he argued the No on 4 campaign is "represented mostly by representatives of Planned Parenthood. They suggest that parental notification in Proposition 4 is about chipping away at Roe v. Wade and a ‘women’s right to choose.’”
Gallagher accused such opponents of using “unnecessary scare tactics” by alleging that the proposal will encourage distressed teens to seek “back alley abortions” or obtain an abortion in Mexico.
“They don’t acknowledge family involvement laws in 30 other states,” he said, stating that 60 percent of the U.S. population lives in states with such laws.
“This is a mainstream proposition,” Gallagher reiterated.
Gallagher said the Latino vote is making a real difference in the campaign, claiming Latinos are “overwhelmingly” in favor of Proposition 4.
He also reported that Latinos have higher registration numbers in this election year.
Nonetheless, he said the passage of Proposition 4 is not certain.
“It’ll be close,” Gallagher told CNA.
The web site of the campaign supporting the proposal is located at www.yeson4.net.