Calif. Approves Signature Collection for Parental Notification Initiative

November 18, 2013 — California Secretary of State Debra Bowen this week gave permission for backers of a ballot initiative that would require doctors to notify parents when a minor seeks to have an abortion to begin collecting signatures to qualify for the November 2014 ballot, NBC Southern California reports.

Under the initiative, physicians would be required to inform the parents or legal guardians in writing if a girl under age 18 seeks to have an abortion. The girl would be required to wait 48 hours after the notification before she can undergo the procedure. The initiative would provide exceptions in cases of medical emergency, parental waiver, or documented parental abuse, such as through a notarized statement from law enforcement, protective services or certain relatives. The girl could be granted a judicial waiver if she appears in court and proves her maturity or if the waiver is in her best interest.

In addition, the ballot initiative would require physicians to report specific abortion information to the state.

An analysis prepared by the Legislative Analyst and director of finance showed the net costs to the state if such a measure were signed into law are unknown. However, the analysis showed it would likely result in millions of dollars spent annually for the courts, health and social services programs and the state health department.

Bowen said supporters of initiative must collect and submit valid signatures from 807,615 registered voters by April 14 to qualify for the November 2014 ballot (NBC Southern California, 11/15).