Proponents of parental notification in California vow to try again


Supporters of a parental notification bill have announced that they will start collecting signatures in late January or early February in hopes of getting the measure before voters again in the 2006 general election.

Supporters are renewing efforts after a similar bill — Proposition 73 — was defeated in the Nov. 8 vote, 53 percent to 47 percent. The bill would require doctors in California to notify the parents of girls under 18 before the girl can have an abortion.

The bill was endorsed by Catholic parishes and the California Conference of Catholic Bishops. Pastors were urging parishioners to vote for the proposition. Backers of “parental notification” cite various factors in the defeat of Proposition 73, which for many months was ahead in pre-election polls.

Analysts say factors included mass media campaigns against the bill and the resulting confusion among voters about what the bill was actually proposing.

A story about the defeat of Proposition 73 carried the headline: “Dicen no al aborto los californianos” (Californians say no to abortion). Evidently, many voters believed that requiring parents to be notified before their minor daughter receives an abortion meant that the abortion was acceptable.

Planned Parenthood spent millions of dollars in its campaign against Proposition 73, including more than half a million dollars in television and radio ads. The California Democratic Party and the American Civil Liberties Union also campaigned against it.

Antonia Muñoz of Resurrection parish in East Los Angeles told the Catholic newspaper La cruz del Sur that Planned Parenthood was calling the people at home and telling them to vote against the bill.