Boxer, Angelides Oppose Teen Abortion Measure Associated Press Olivia MunozOctober 10, 2005

Angelides is Greek Orthodox.

Treasurer Phil Angelides came out Monday against an amendment to the state Constitution that would require doctors to give parents or guardians written notice 48 hours before performing an abortion on a minor.

The two Democratic politicians said that Proposition 73, which is on the ballot for the Nov. 8 special election, could eventually erode the reproductive rights women won under Roe v. Wade, the landmark U.S. Supreme Court decision that legalized abortion in 1973.

“This proposition is designed to make it difficult for young women to get the medical attention they need at a very difficult time,” Angelides said during a news conference at Planned Parenthood Golden Gate.

If the proposed amendment passes, girls would not need consent from an adult to obtain an abortion. But sponsors hope the notification requirement would reduce California’s teen abortion rate, the fourth-highest in the country, by involving parents in the decision.

Opponents argue that the kind of open communication Proposition 73 is supposed to foster is neither appropriate for all families nor reason enough to limit abortion access. Many teens already talk to their parents about pregnancy, said Norma Jo Waxman, a San Francisco doctor and professor.

Angelides said he is very close to his three daughters, but “can’t imagine compelling them to talk to me about this difficult a subject.”

Arguing that anti-abortion activists are using the parental notification requirement as a first step toward outlawing abortion, Boxer pointed to language in the amendment that defines abortion as a procedure that “causes the death of the unborn child.”

That wording is unnecessary, politically loaded, and “sets it up to overturn Roe versus Wade in our state,” she said.

Boxer called the days before abortions were legal “the Dark Ages.”

“I remember those days, when people would go to Mexico to get back-alley abortions, “Boxer said.

Stan Devereux, a spokesman for Yes on 73, said Angelides and Boxer were trying to energize their political base by “turning this into a debate about Roe versus Wade.”

“This is about notification, it’s not about consent or overturning Roe,” he said. “It doesn’t help voters when elected officials don’t take the time to read the specifics.”

California would become the 16th state with a parental notification law if voters approve the measure. Another 19 require parental consent.

A poll by the Public Policy Institute of California showed that 70 percent of likely voters would not support overturning Roe. v. Wade. But the same poll found voters more evenly divided on Proposition 73, with 48 percent opposing it and 44 percent supporting it.

The amendment contains several exceptions to the two-day advance notification – a doctor could perform an abortion in a medical emergency, for example, and judges could waive the requirement on a case-by-case basis.