Parental Abortion Notice Fights to Win in Calif.

Thursday, 30 Oct 2008 03:18 PM

By Phil Brennan

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A coalition of five abortion advocates is using lies and distortions to try to defeat a California measure that would require notifying parents of minor children before their daughters could have an abortion, a top advocate of the proposition contends.

The five — National Planned Parenthood, the nation’s top abortion provider; the NARAL; the National Organization for Women; the Fund for a Feminist Majority; and the American Civil Liberties Union — are joining together in an e-mail appeal asking donors across America to contribute to what they call the “California Campaign for Teen Safety No on Proposition 4.”

But the coalition is faltering, so it is using misleading statements such as the “teen safety” label, Charles Gallagher, campaign manager for Proposition 4, told Newsmax.

For example, the coalition issued a news release warning that “this draconian, deceptive, so-called parental notification ballot measure will endanger teens, especially vulnerable teens.”

The release fails to explain how such a law could endanger a girl merely by requiring notification of her parents that she would be having a major and often dangerous surgical procedure without their knowledge and permission, Gallagher said.

He scoffed at the coalition’s contention that, if Proposition 4 passes Tuesday, girls will “go to Mexico to receive back-alley abortions or they will throw themselves down the stairs and commit suicide.”

“There is no evidence in over 30 states where there are parental notifications or parental consent laws that there have been any cases where teens do this,” he said, adding that the mainstream press in California is not disclosing that fact.

The proposition also is called Sarah’s Law, in memory of a 15-year-old girl who died of complications from an abortion several days after she had it at a clinic in Houston, Texas, in 1994, Gallagher’s group says.

A Public Policy Institute of California poll shows that the anti-Proposition 4 campaign is behind by 2 percentage points.

The coalition’s effort against the measure has an anti-Catholic tone, said Gallagher, whose group received a $175,000 donation from the Knights of Columbus, a global Catholic men’s fraternal association.

“They sent out a press release saying the Knights’ contribution is a reason why people should contribute to the no side,” he said.

And a commercial that mocks religious belief shows “the tenor in this campaign has turned anti-Christian and anti-religious,” he said.

“They are bringing out every big gun that they’ve got because . . . from our polling, probably 60 percent of the electorate is in favor of this type of law. And now that we’re down to the home stretch, they are throwing everything at us.”

Gallagher explained that 34 other states have such laws. A court struck down California’s similar law in 1987.

“This is the third time on the ballot to require parental notification,” Gallagher said.

“We’re under attack,” he said, adding that his group needs contributions to keep its own campaign on the air in Los Angeles.

The city is a “major battleground for us because there are a lot of conservative value Latinos who can really will help us and we need to make sure that we are up on TV and communicating with as many people as possible, he said.

The Web site for Gallagher’s group is

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