It's Deja Vu All Over Again

California's 2008 Proposition 4

"a bad idea is a bad idea is a bad idea"

This November, for the third time in four years, California voters will be faced with a ballot initiative to determine whether the state should mandate parental notification prior to a minor terminating a pregnancy - the 2008 initiative is Proposition 4. The prior initiatives were Propisition 73 and Proposition 85.
In 2006, I was standing on a streetcorner, wearing my "crown of coat-hangers", handing out literature against Prop 85. I guess it's a good thing I kept that "crown" because I'm going to be out there again wearing it. Even though those who came of age since 1973 may not understand what the coat-hangers mean.

California's Proposition 4

Parental Notification is still a bad idea

by Pam Green, © 2008

It's deja vu all over again. How many times do the voters have to say NO to a bad idea ? Can we have three strikes and Out or will we have to vote down some form of Parental Notification at every election ?

Parental notification too often equals parental veto. At best it can equal a parent's influence outweighing the daughter's on an issue that will affect her life far more than theirs, an issue that may change her life irreparably. Yet the parent is not going to be required to take the responsibility of raising their child's child. At the very least, a parent vetoing a daughter's abortion should be required to adopt the resulting child and to rear it without any state subsidies.

If your answer to any or all of the above is NO, then likewise your answer to Proposition 4 should be a loud and resounding NO !

If you don't want to risk your daughter waiting until it is too late for a safe abortion, your answer to Proposition 4 should be a loud and resounding NO !

If you don't want her seeking an illegal abortion or trying to self-abort, your answer to Proposition 4 should be a loud and resounding NO !

If you don't want your daughter bleeding to death in the school bathroom after an abortion or a self-delivery, your answer to Proposition 4 should be a loud and resounding NO !

If you don't want your daughter to take the only escape Prop 4 allows her, escaping parental notification by accusing her parents of child abuse, then your answer to Proposition 4 should be a loud and resounding NO !

If the point of parental consent is , as was claimed two years ago, to discourage parental incest and to discourage statutory rape, then there is a much better way. Pass a law requiring that every aborted fetus and every live birth that occurs where the conception date would have been prior to the girl's 18th birthday to be tested for DNA and then test every male who might be the sire to determine paternity. If the pregnancy resulted from statutory rape or incest, the male involved should be prosecuted to fullest extent of the law. And perhaps the law should be ammended to make castration a mandatory punishment for incest ? Perhaps also for Statutory Rape Resulting in Pregnancy ?

Realistically, it is the very parents who have FAILED to provide their daughter with honest information about sex and contraception who are the parents who are LEAST likely to be considered safe to confide in when that daughter becomes pregnant. The parents who the daughter does not trust enough to tell are usually the very ones least deserving of having any further say in the daughter's choice.

Those parents who have had honest discussions with their daughter throughout her upbringing are the ones who she will be most likely to tell if she is in any kind of trouble, including pregnancy, because they have earned her trust.

Trust has to be earned. Communication has to be established early and often.

Parents, if you don't want to worry about whether you need to be notified that your daughter is seeking abortion, talk to her early and often about contraception.

You can still give her the valid REASONS why being abstinent or being very very selective could make good sense for her, for her own welfare.

Then you have a pretty good chance that if she gets pregnant she will confide in you. But an even better chance that she will avoid getting pregnant until she is a full adult, self-supporting, and ready and willing to raise a child. Or if she decides she never wants to raise a child, at least you won't get stuck raising her accident during those years when you should be free to finally put your priorities on your own needs and enjoyments.


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site author Pam Green copyright 2003
created 9/13/08 revised 9/13/08
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