Prop. 73 increases risks for women and doctors

Managing Editor

In the great scheme of California politics, the Nov. 8 special election will prove to be another waste of taxpayers hard-earned dollars as indicated in recent polls regarding the election. Several initiatives on the special election ballot to be voted on by Californians include issues regarding teacher tenure, political districts, and state budget and school funding. Among the spending initiatives, the proposition about parental notification for abortions has nothing to do with spending and stands out like a sore thumb.

If passed, the initiative, known as Proposition 73, would require a doctor to notify parents 48 hours before an abortion is performed on a pregnant minor. Current California legislation states a pregnant minor can get an abortion without telling her parents.

Proposition 73, if passed, would threaten the way in which young women in California openly and freely get abortions without fear of repercussions from parents or society. The parental notification about abortion initiative will destroy the doctor-patient confidentiality. To require a doctor to disclose private information of a patient will ruin the credibility of his or her Hippocratic oath. The potential passing of Proposition 73 would mean that doctors would play second fiddle to parent/child communication.

Enabling the passing of such an initiative will force a parent to communicate with his or her daughter, which is what those who support the initiative most desire. An abortion initiative, however, would not create parental bond with his or her daughter, if the bonds do not initially exist. Rather, the initiative would push more unmarried pregnant teens to seek alternative methods to parental guided legalized abortion.

For many unmarried pregnant teens, who feel a societal stigma is attached to their emotional, physical and economical state, the shame of revealing oneself as pregnant because they would be viewed as careless is unbearable.

If passed, Proposition 73 could increase the likelihood that back-alley abortions will unfortunately, reveal its ugly face again. In recent news reports, several pregnant minors have murdered their child after secretly giving birth for fear of what their parents might say or do.

Proponents for the initiative believe Proposition 73 would decrease the number of teen abortions; however, if Proposition 73 passes, the chance that self-inflicted abortions will reoccur under this initiative is greater than under current legislation since the fear of revealing one’s pregnancy to her parents will be intensified.

Sensitive legislative matters, such as Proposition 73, that would change a woman’s right to privacy and what she does to her own person should not be placed on a special initiative ballot in which voter turnout is expected to be low and available voter education is dismal. What a travesty.

Veronica Rocha can be reached at