Prop 4: Abortion Waiting Period and Parental Notification Initiative

Put on the Ballot by Petition Signatures

48% YES
52% NO

Argument in Support of Proposition 4

It's time to close the loophole in California law that allows minor girls to be taken for secret chemical or surgical abortions by anyone—even an adult male who impregnated her—WITHOUT THE DOCTOR NOTIFYING ANY FAMILY MEMBER. These predators can even take girls out of school to hide their crimes.

Sarah was only 15 when she had a secret abortion. Within days a high fever set in. No one knew why, or how seriously ill she was. By the time she was hospitalized and doctors determined she had a deadly infection from a torn cervix, it was too late. Sarah died. Had someone in her family known about the abortion, Sarah's life could have been saved.

Proposition 4—Sarah's Law—would require doctors to notify a parent or, in case of parental abuse, another adult family member, such as a grandparent, aunt, or sister, before performing an abortion on a girl under 18. Parental consent is not required, but an adult who cares about her can help her understand all options, ensure competent care, and provide her medical history.

Over the past twenty-five years, more than thirty states have enacted laws similar to Proposition 4. THESE LAWS REDUCE TEEN PREGNANCIES AND SEXUALLY TRANSMITTED DISEASES, WITHOUT DANGER OR HARM TO MINORS.

Medical professionals and lawmakers know children are safer when a family member knows of their medical situation and is informed about risks to their health and safety. New California law requires a parent to provide written consent in person before a minor can use a tanning salon . . .

Yet a young girl can get an abortion WITHOUT A FAMILY MEMBER BEING NOTIFIED—and this could endanger her safety, even her life.

WHEN ABORTIONS ARE KEPT SECRET, ADULT SEXUAL PREDATORS GO FREE. Sarah's Law will protect young victims of sexual crimes.

Planned Parenthood performed an abortion on a 14-year-old and then, at the request of the male predator who brought her in, gave her a shot of Depo-Provera so he could have sex with her again right away.

ABORTION PROVIDERS AREN'T REPORTING THESE CRIMES TO LAW ENFORCEMENT. Family members will!

Planned Parenthood failed to report the sexual abuse of a 13-year-old brought for an abortion by the 23-year-old who raped her. After the secret abortion, the same man impregnated her again, and she had a second abortion.

Sadly, the list of victims of secret abortions continues to grow. Without Sarah's Law, most parents won't know their minor daughter is seeking an abortion.

SECRECY ENABLES ABUSE TO CONTINUE, even abuse inside the home. Sarah's Law will protect vulnerable girls by ensuring abuse is reported and putting their health and safety first.

DON'T LET YOUNG GIRLS LIKE SARAH FACE THE PHYSICAL AND EMOTIONAL RISKS OF SECRET ABORTIONS ON THEIR OWN—or worse yet, COERCED BY A SEXUAL PREDATOR!

Join doctors, nurses, teachers, parents, and law enforcement officials who urge you to protect our daughters and stop child predators by VOTING YES on PROPOSITION 4!

www.YESon4.net

BARBARA ALBY, Author, California's "Megan's Law" Child Protection Legislation
JOSEPH R. ZANGA, M.D., FAAP, Past President, American Academy of Pediatrics
THE HONORABLE TONY RACKAUCKAS, J.D., District Attorney, Orange County

Arguments printed on this page are the opinions of the authors and have not been checked for accuracy by any official agency.

Rebuttal to Argument in Support of Proposition 4

PLANNED PARENTHOOD, California HAD NOTHING TO DO WITH THE TRAGEDIES DESCRIBED ABOVE.

In fact, NONE of these cases HAPPENED IN CALIFORNIA.

Proponents want you to believe absurd charges so you'll ignore 4's real dangers.

Don't be misled.

In the real world, LAWS LIKE THIS CAN'T FORCE TEENS TO TALK TO THEIR PARENTS but may cause them to seek illegal, unsafe abortions, go over the border, or even consider suicide.

PROP. 4:

WON'T REDUCE TEEN PREGNANCY.

PUTS TEENS IN DANGER.

ENCOURAGES LAWSUITS AGAINST DOCTORS.

The facts:

  • "SARAH" (whose real name was Jammie Garcia Yanez-Villegas) was a married mother, with a child, when she died in Texas in 1994. Nothing in Prop. 4 would have prevented her tragic death.
  • PLANNED PARENTHOOD PROTECTS TEENS, NOT PREDATORS. Its staff complies with all child abuse reporting laws. 97% of what Planned Parenthood does involves preventive care, comprehensive sex education, and cancer screenings.
  • When pregnant teens need help, Planned Parenthood's caring counselors urge teens to talk to parents—and most do . . . and IF THEY FIND EVIDENCE OF ABUSE, THEY REPORT IT.

Backers are exploiting fears to advance their own political agenda: The San Diego Union Tribune reported that THEIR REAL GOAL IS TO OUTLAW ABORTION.

Parents rightfully want to be involved in their teenagers' lives, but extremists are making wild charges to divert voters from the real and dangerous consequences of 4. For the real facts about its danger to teens, visit www.NoOnProposition4.org.

THE MOST IMPORTANT THING IS KEEPING TEENS SAFE. VOTE NO.

KATHY KNEER, President, Planned Parenthood Affiliates of California
DR. RAQUEL ARIAS, Associate Dean, Obstetrics and Gynecology (Keck School of Medicine), University of Southern California
DR. JEANNIE CONRY, Chair, American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, District IX

Arguments printed on this page are the opinions of the authors and have not been checked for accuracy by any official agency.

Argument Against Proposition 4

PROPOSITION 4 PUTS TEENS AT RISK.

The AMERICAN ACADEMY OF PEDIATRICS, CALIFORNIA DISTRICT,

The CALIFORNIA MEDICAL ASSOCIATION,

The CALIFORNIA ASSOCIATION OF FAMILY PHYSICIANS,

The AMERICAN COLLEGE OF OBSTETRICIANS AND GYNECOLOGISTS, DISTRICT IX,

The CALIFORNIA TEACHERS ASSOCIATION,

And parents throughout California urge you to VOTE NO on 4.

MANDATORY NOTIFICATION LAWS MAY SOUND GOOD, BUT, IN THE REAL WORLD THEY PUT TEENAGERS IN REAL DANGER.

A SCARED, PREGNANT TEEN who can't go to her parents can feel trapped and desperate. Instead of seeking the counseling and safe medical care she needs, she MAY CHOOSE AN UNSAFE, BACK ALLEY, ILLEGAL ABORTION, GO ACROSS THE BORDER, OR EVEN CONTEMPLATE SUICIDE.

Proposition 4 is DANGEROUS.

PARENTS RIGHTFULLY WANT TO BE INVOLVED IN THEIR TEENAGERS' LIVES. We want our daughters to come to us if they become pregnant. BUT, IN THE REAL WORLD, NOT ALL TEENS LIVE IN HOMES WHERE COMMUNICATION IS POSSIBLE, and, even in the best homes, many teens aren't able to talk about something as sensitive as pregnancy.

IF OUR DAUGHTERS COULDN'T COME TO US, for whatever reason, THE MOST IMPORTANT THING IS KEEPING THEM SAFE. New laws cannot force our teens to talk to us, but they may force them into the back alleys . . . or worse.

PROPOSITION 4 DOESN'T PROTECT TEENS IN DANGEROUS HOMES. A scared pregnant teen is not going to go to her doctor, claim mistreatment, and then stand by as law enforcement comes to the door—the same door she has to return to. She may not seek care at all.

Prop. 4 is not about "family involvement." Family notification is no more than a state-scripted form letter sent to another relative who may not live in the same town. Prop. 4 contains NO REQUIREMENT FOR COUNSELING and no requirement that the other adult help her when she is in crisis. PROP. 4 PUTS OUR MOST VULNERABLE TEENAGERS IN HARM'S WAY . . .

OR FORCES TEENS TO GO TO COURT.

Think about it: she's pregnant, she can't go to her parents, and she's already desperate. She isn't going to go to court to reveal the most intimate details of her life to an unfamiliar judge in an impersonal courthouse. SHE DOESN'T NEED A JUDGE; SHE NEEDS A CARING COUNSELOR AND SAFE, QUALITY MEDICAL CARE, WITHOUT DELAY.

MANDATORY NOTIFICATION LAWS MAKE SCARED, PREGNANT TEENS WHO CAN'T GO TO THEIR PARENTS DO DANGEROUS THINGS.

And if in desperation, teenagers turn to illegal, self-induced, or back-alley abortions, THEY WILL SUFFER SERIOUS INJURIES AND SOME WILL DIE.

REAL FAMILY COMMUNICATION MUST START LONG BEFORE A TEEN FACES AN UNPLANNED PREGNANCY. The best way to protect our daughters is to begin talking with them about responsible, appropriate sexual behavior—including abstinence—from the time they are young and fostering an atmosphere assuring they can come to us.

Because NO LAW CAN MANDATE FAMILY COMMUNICATION and while mandatory laws like these may sound good, IN THE REAL WORLD THEY JUST PUT TEENAGERS IN REAL DANGER.

TO PROTECT TEENS, please vote No on 4.

DR. MYLES B. ABBOTT, Chair, American Academy of Pediatrics, California District
DONNA GERBER, President, California Nurses Association
NANCY SCHUBB, President, California Association of School Counselors

Arguments printed on this page are the opinions of the authors and have not been checked for accuracy by any official agency.

Rebuttal to Argument Against Proposition 4

NOTIFICATION LAWS ARE PROTECTING GIRLS IN OVER 30 STATES, and have been for up to 25 years.

THAT'S WHY LAW ENFORCEMENT SUPPORTS PROPOSITION 4!

Read the opposing argument carefully. Notice it says "may" and "if." There are NO REAL STORIES. Not a single example of a "real" teenager harmed by a notification law. THAT'S BECAUSE IT HAS NEVER HAPPENED.

Out of millions of girls, the opposition couldn't find ONE REAL GIRL harmed by a notification law.

Meanwhile, the list of victims of secret abortions keeps growing.

A 12-year-old was given alcohol by an adult male who raped her when she passed out. Weeks later, the rapist's mother took her to an abortion clinic and afterwards dumped her 30 miles from home. The police finally located her after the girl's frantic mother reported her missing. She was suffering severe abortion complications that could have led to her death had she not received immediate medical treatment.

Adam Gault, 41, lured a 14-year-old from her home with promises of drugs and a job. Instead, she became his sex slave for a year, captive in his house. When she became pregnant, Gault arranged an abortion for her at Planned Parenthood. PLANNED PARENTHOOD didn't report the girl's victimization.

Secret abortions leave girls vulnerable to further sexual abuse, pregnancies, abortions, and sexually transmitted diseases. Predators are free to prey on new victims.

VOTE YES on 4 to protect REAL GIRLS in the REAL WORLD, victimized by secret abortions and sexual predators.

www.YESon4.net

MARY L. DAVENPORT, M.D., Fellow, American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists
THOMAS MURPHY GOODWIN, M.D., FAAP, FACOG, Professor of Obstetrics & Gynecology and Pediatrics, Keck School of Medicine, University of Southern California
THE HONORABLE ROD PACHECO, J.D., District Attorney, Riverside County

Arguments printed on this page are the opinions of the authors and have not been checked for accuracy by any official agency.

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