Los Angeles Times

Proposition 4

Requires that a parent or other adult family member be notified 48hours in advance of a minor's abortion.

Los Angeles Times editorial, Sept. 25, 2008:

"The real safety concerns are these: If this measure passes, some girls will seek out illegal abortions rather than notify their parents. Some will attempt to hide the pregnancy, go without prenatal care, give birth alone and abandon the newborn. With no real evidence that this proposal would enhance the welfare of the state's teens -- and with no doubt that it would roll back decades of hard-won constitutional rights -- Proposition 4 deserves defeat."

The story:

This is the third initiative in four years to try to limit theability of girls in California to obtain abortions. Voters defeatedProposition 73 in 2005 and Proposition 85 in 2006. Criticscomplained that those measures would have forced a girl to inform aperhaps abusive parent. Proposition 4 differs in that it wouldallow a girl to get permission from an adult family member otherthan a parent or guardian.

Proponents call Proposition 4 "Sarah's Law," after a Texas girl whothey say died from an infection caused by an abortion her parentsdidn't know about. As TheTimes reported Aug. 2, the law would not have covered "Sarah,"who was deemed married (under the common law of Texas, where shelived) at the time of her pregnancy and therefore she would nothave had to notify a parent of an abortion.

Planned Parenthood has sued to have the girl's story removed fromproposed ballot materials.

In addition to labeling Proposition 4 "Sarah's Law," backers usethe unofficial title "Child and Teen Safety and Stop PredatorsAct"; their title does not mention abortion or parentalnotification. California voters haven't supported initiatives torestrict a minor's access to abortion, but they have stronglysupported measures to punish sex offenders and child predators,including the 2006 California Proposition 83, known as "Jessica'sLaw."

Theballot language (pdf):

Analysis fromthe state Legislative Analyst's Office

Ballot arguments

Who votes: Registered voters living in California.


  • 'Sarah's Law' would not have applied to 'Sarah,' acknowledge backers of the abortion-notification measure.
    "We will modify the way we present Sarah to be accurate with the information. But we don't think the use of her story is marred."
    --Campaign spokeswoman Erica Little
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