National Partnership for Women & Families

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ELECTION 2008 | California Poll Finds Declining Support for Parental Notification Measure

ELECTION 2008 | California Poll Finds Declining Support for Parental Notification Measure
[Nov. 4, 2008]

A recent Field Poll of 966 California voters found that 45% of likely voters support Proposition 4 -- a Nov. 4 ballot measure that would require health care providers to notify a minor's parent or legal guardian at least 48 hours before providing abortion services to the minor -- and that 43% oppose it, the Los Angeles Times reports. The poll indicates that support for the measure has declined to 45% from 49% in September (Los Angeles Times, 11/1). Opposition to the measure increased slightly from 41% in September to 43% in late October, while 12% remain undecided, according to the San Diego Union-Tribune (Sweeney, San Diego Union-Tribune, 11/1). Field Poll director Mark DiCamillo said that this year's measure is following "the same general pattern" as previous parental notification measures -- starting with a lead among voters but ending without sufficient support to pass (Rojas, Sacramento Bee, 11/1). He added, "There is still some possibility it could pass. It's just, I think, the odds and history of it are probably more on the 'no' side."

According to the Union-Tribune, the poll found that among those in favor of the measure, 70% said that "parents need to be involved" or "have a right to know" when a minor has an abortion. Forty-four percent of those opposed to the measure said that "it's a woman's decision/right to have control over her own body," and 25% said that notifying a parent could be risky or lead some minors to make a rash decision. Sixty-seven percent of supporters identified themselves as evangelical Christians, and 65% were Republicans. Sixty-two percent of opponents identified themselves as voters with no religious preference, and 56% were Democrats. Forty-two percent of women supported the measure, while 43% opposed it, and men were split by 48% in support of the measure and 43% in opposition (San Diego Union-Tribune, 11/1). The survey was conducted between Oct. 18 and Oct. 28 (Los Angeles Times, 11/1).