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October 09, 2008


Exceptions in any proposed law will always have unintended loopholes.


If you don't mind, might I ask what your position on this proposition is?

I agree with the long term consequences of this bill and will vote no. After reading Roy Hanson's analysis and Robyn Nordell, I too think we will see a future of problems from the wording of this legislation. Both these two individuals have spend years anaylzing the issues that would affect families and home schoolers. I have to support their knowledge and effort on behalf of all of us. I would support this bill if and when they rewrite it. I don't think the authors have thoroughly considered the consequences.

After reading all links you provided, hence both sides of this arguement, I have decided to vote NO on Prop 4. Roy Hansen, Robyn Nordell and I are pro-life advocates. However,Proposition 4 contains changes in law that would provide an opportunity for teens, their abusers, and pro-abortionists to manipulate the system. Under Prop 4, to allege abuse, a teen must claim that “...she fears physical, sexual or severe emotional abuse from a parent....” A troubled or rebellious teen could easily manipulate the system by colluding with a 21-year-old aunt or sister who shares the teen’s views – not the parents’. That teen, fearing her pro-life parents’ arguments against an abortion, could presumably convince a pro-abortion doctor to send the notice to a sympathetic aunt.

Secondly, diluting parental authority within the Constitution may provide future courts with ammunition to expand that definition. Our nation’s founders would never have even conceived of placing all of these means to circumvent parental authority into our Constitution, where it cannot be modified or changed except through an additional constitutional amendment.

Proposition 4 contains vague language that would open key terms to “reinvention” by future courts. The terms “severe emotional abuse” or “emotional abuse” are undefined elsewhere in California law. It would be dangerous to place them into the California Constitution, where our courts would have the ability to “interpret” and define them.

Not only will this Prop NOT save lives, it will destroy families.

It seems to me that the Yes on 4 proponents inadequately address some critical issues raised by Nordell and Hanson. We all know that courts derive their decisions from prior cases and their application of the law. It certainly seems likely that there could be parallels between a minor who chooses to defy parental controls of other sorts and a minor seeking an abortion in defiance of her parents’ wishes. If minors seeking abortion are allowed the option in Sarah’s Law of having notification given to an “adult family member” who might be a 21 year-old cousin, sibling, or half-sibling (rather than to parents), then it seems entirely predictable that other minors in difficult situations will want to be able to seek support from other “adult family members” in defiance of parental wishes. Certainly, it seems to me that the language in this law could be raised in support of other parallel situations—that’s exactly what Prop 4 supporters seem to have done in constructing this initiative! I’m fairly certain that right now parents DO have authority to make decisions in regard to whether or not their children can obtain piercings or tattoos, what school a child attends, where a child lives, etc. What if a 16 year old wants tattoos or piercings, knowing that mom and dad have strictly prohibited both? Will the legal situation shift so that an “adult family member” might give permission instead of parents? Or what if parents want the minor to attend a religious school, but child wants to attend public school? By the way, I suspect many rebellious young people might not be overly concerned about the effects upon the rest of their family of the associated child abuse report that must be filed when they select notification to someone other than parents. They might not understand the potentially devastating consequences to their entire family, and they might not care if they do.

I do not question the good intent of this proposition. However I will have to wait until another is written in the future which doesn't endanger the loss of parental freedoms in the process of attempting something otherwise so very worthy.

Although I am strongly pro-life, I will be voting no in opposition to Prop 4 because I value parental rights. Roy Hanson has defended rights of parents in this state successfully for years, and my family is thankful for his efforts. I trust his analysis that allowing liberal judges to define emotional abuse would be dangerous. These judges do not have our children's best interests in mind. I cannot, in good conscience, vote to take away more of my parental rights.

While I believe the authors of Prop 4 meant well when crafting it, this has all the makings of a "Pandora's Box". Roy Hanson's careful and reasoned analysis clearly presents cause for concern if this passes. His track record of protecting California families' rights, and from government intrusion is sterling. Robyn Nordell's careful and time consuming research into the possible outcomes of this proposition is more reason to vote NO on Prop 4. Why would I vote for something now when it is evident my rights could easily be diminished in the future by the very wording of the Prop? Even though I am strongly pro-life, it is apparent that the loopholes in this prop could ripple out and affect other situations where a minor might want his/her own way and seek the court (and another sympathizing adult for consent)to circumvent the parents' will. It seems foolish to knowingly vote this "Pandora's Box" into law.

I do not support abortion under any circumstance, and welcome prudent law to limit, or even do away with, abortion completely. Upon cursory reading of Prop 4 it seems a reasonable position: parental notification of a minor's desire to have an abortion. But the exceptions language raises many red flags! What qualifies as "emotional abuse?" And who will definite this term? Reading over the examination summaries provided by Roy Hansen and Robyn Nordell--both thorough and insightful--convinces me that this well-meaning proposition indeed has far more potential for harm than good. I will vote NO on Prop 4 for this reason.

I respect the expert views already expressed here, and that of STR very much, but won't this proposition save lives? Call me crazy, but the risk of loosing the right to call the shots on my daughters' tatoos seems like nothing in comparison to the lives of the innocent unborn that would be saved with this law. And it seems like other "better written" laws might not pass in California. The fact that this one has loopholes (which we agree are not good), maybe that's what makes it palatable/passable to the California voters. Also, we know that there will be abuses of these loopholes, but in the end of the day, this seems to be a law, if passed, that would deter SOME from aborting or from getting pregnant in the first place. I am more than willing to get out my razor blade and take my "YES ON PROP 4" sticker off my car, but I am just not convinced yet... someone convince me, please!

Why is it that a well intentioned prop. always has fine print that causes some concern? The implications of this bill are disheartening. Maybe the pregnant teen is worried what her parents will think, so she will choose the easy way out which is claiming "emotional abuse".
I respect the extensive work that Roy Hansen has done for family protection in CA. I trust his judgement regarding the fine print of the bill and the possibilities and dangers of the "emotional abuse" clause. He, together, with Robyn Nordell, have worked extensively to read between the lines of this prop. I will vote no.

The more I've researched, the more I'm convinced that the child abuse report is one of the most dangerous components of this initiative. But, unfortunately, those who haven't studied the family destruction that has too often occurred because of false accusations of child abuse might not readily understand the danger.
If a pregnant young woman chooses to have notification given to her 21 year-old cousin rather than parents, and to do so she has to claim some sort of child abuse (which the doctor must report), I suspect that many young women will not understand the consequences once such a report is filed. The young woman could easily convince herself that she could deal with the fallout from making a false abuse report once the abortion is done. She isn't likely to understand that younger siblings might be removed from the home and that parents are too often presumed guilty on the basis of the report and must battle to prove their innocence. Linking the requirement of the abuse report with notification of another "adult family member" might have been intended to make the young woman pause before choosing that option, but I doubt that they understand the consequences well enough to reconsider.

It saddens me that this proposition was not looked at more carefully by those who might have been able to see the loopholes before it went this far. We all want to save the innocent, this includes those who might be wrongly accused of child abuse. To put this proposition into our California Constitution with the wording it currently has is not what we intended to have happen. This not only continues to put the child in the womb at risk, but entire families at risk as well. Infortunately, as it stands now, I will have to vote no on Prop 4.

As a pro-lifer, I agree with parental notification for a girl seeking an abortion. This proposition, although it sounds good at first, is really scary in the long run. It actually could take our rights as parents away by adding the term "emotional abuse" in the consitution. This term can be used quite liberally and thus will take away our parental rights and give them to ANY adult relative. Won't this absences of parental notification run into other areas of our children's lives? Even thought this proposition starts out sounding good, I cannot vote for Prop. 4 because in the long run, parental rights will be gone and then parental notification for an abortion, or any other issue, will be a moot point.

My understanding of the additions made to Sarah's law make me Vote NO.
I know a parent whose daughter wanted to hang out until all hours with a boyfriend. She went to school officials and reported her mom as abusive. Social Services took the other children for a time and the family sustained a long legal battle to get them back. The court automatically sides with the child.
It was an older (21 year old) sister who provoked the younger sister to 'get back' at the parents for not letting her do what she wanted. The young girl ended up in much trouble as she moved in with the older sister and went 'her own way'.
Giving children easy access to 'emotional abuse' charges, especially in the event of an already emotionally charged unplanned pregnancy, would be a dangerous weapon against parental authority.
While I believe in parental notification, the common practice of incorporating unnecessary and harmful additions to legislation means I have to vote NO.

My vote on Prop 4 is YES. I appreciate the true life story above, and other concerns on this. But, when it comes down to practicing this law,if it were passed, we just don't know exactly how it will all work out...we have to be honest and say it is a GUESS on our part, how damaging (or not) Sarah's law would be. What I do know is that the Attorneys of Americans United for Life (AUL) and the American Center for Law and Justice (ACLJ) support Sarah's Law and were consulted when it was being drafted. They are the experts with the law, and they considered the similar laws of 30 other states in the US that have been put into practice. WI has a very similarly written law, and they don't have problems with false allegations against parents. The scenario painted in many of the above arguments against Prop 4 revolve around false abuse allegations against parents from a wayward daughter...this may be the case in SOME situations (we don't know how many)...what about all the OTHER LEGITIMATE CASES of young girls who would benefit GREATLY from parental/family notification? What about the other part of the glass that's full (are we looking only at the part that's empty?) Girls who are scared to be pregnant, but love their parents? Girls who aren't "rebels" but made some bad choices and don't know what to do, dangling by a thread of indecision about whether they should have an abortion or not and if they should tell someone or not? What about the girls who might have a life threatening complication from an abortion and no one knows how sick they are? What about the girls who ARE being abused by a parent? Or a boyfriend?
Please THINK about these other arguments before you jump on the closest moving pro-life band wagon with regard to how to vote on Prop 4. Check out other views from other sources and make a well informed decision on this difficult issue. AND remember that we are all on the SAME SIDE here...we love our children and want what's best for them...the unborn, ones and the teenage ones who might become pregnant. Where there's an argument, there's always a rebuttal to consider.

Please read Prop 4's response to Roy Hanson's "Primary Concern," provided in the link above. Any pro-lifer presented for the first time with a parental consent law who read that a judge could decide, in an uncontested hearing, whether or not an abortion is "in the minor's best interest", would think, "That's outrageous! We should not have judges making decisions like that! This is dangerous! What could it lead to?" But in fact, that's the law in 22 states, because the only way to have a constitutional parental consent law is to have that language in it. And in those states, as well as in states with notification laws like Prop 4, teen abortions and pregnancies go down. And that language has not led to any other problems in juvenile or family law.

It's very easy to sit back and demand that the perfect law be written. But getting it passed in a state like California and upheld in court is another story. That's why it's easy for Nordell and Hanson, who are not lawyers, to tear down Prop 4, while Prop 4 has been endorsed by LAWYERS and organizations who have written and defended parental involvement laws. That's why I'm voting Yes on 4.

Even though this proposition has nothing to do with money, I can't help but think of the old saying "penny wise and dollar foolish". In the long run the cost will be much greater. I am pro-life to my very core, but please, let's not rush to do something in the name of good that will cripple parental rights in the future. Our parental rights need to remain clear, let's not create an enviroment that at the very least can be taken grave advantage of. Let's pull together and encourage a better proposition for the sake of our children, our future children and all of these childrens' parents.

First of all I have a lot of respect for the ACLJ and have even financially supported them in the past. However I will be voting NO on proposition 4. This proposition has many ramifications even beyond the issue of abortion. Not only does it still allow the girl to get an abortion without the consent of her parents (subdivision e), but it gives precedence to have accusations and court cases involving accusations without even the knowledge of the parents (subdivision g). Also notice the wording of subdivision (i) “If the judge fails to rule within the time period specified in subdivision (g) and no extension was requested and granted, the petition shall be deemed granted and the notice requirement shall be waived.” The judge can not rule and the parents will still be bypassed!

It is not enough to say that there are similar laws in other states and those seem to be working, this is California. Four liberal judges ruled against 6 million votes for proposition 22 and that is why we are trying to now pass proposition 8. Those same liberal judges will now not only be given the power to define what "several emotional abuse" and "emotional abuse" mean (which could very well be all the things we as Christians hold to; homosexuality is a sin, Jesus is the only way to salvation, even that abortion is the killing of a baby), but they will also have precedence from this proposition to bypass parents and have court cases of minors without parental knowledge that a case is even underway.

One last observation about this proposition is that it is a parental NOTIFICATION amendment and not a parental CONSENT amendment.

The point that so many of the people posting miss is that a lot of what is being complained about in Prop 4 is CONSTITUTIONALLY REQUIRED. As far as Prop 4 creating a "precedent" for intrusions into family life, Prop 4 sets up a very specific procedure for a very specific situation, precisely because that situation has been held to involve the constitutional "right" to abortion. There are other specific laws that deal with other situations. To suggest that somehow Prop 4 is going to slop over and mean that minors will be able to get judicial bypasses or have another adult family member notified so they can go to public school is simply absurd.

As far as pulling together to "encourage a better proposition," would that include putting up the $2+ million dollars just to get it on the ballot again, not to mention the costs of the campaign? When people speak of voting no and waiting for a better law, they should know they could be waiting for a LONG time. Meanwhile, girls will be exploited, parents deceived, and babies killed.

A young girl with an unplanned pregnancy seeking an abortion will undoubtedly not want her parents to find out. If all she has to do to get around this proposed law is to write a statement that she fears emotional abuse, I am certain many will not hesitate to do so. There is also a provision waiving notification in the case of her life being in danger, which is good. But I think that to allow a waiver of parental notification based on unproven “fear” of emotional abuse will open the door for a lot of parents unknowingly being accused of abuse. Vote NO on Prop. 4.

On Proposition 4, it is simply unwise to risk several steps backward in order to take one step forward for saving the unborn. Granting a new right to a pregnant, minor child to state a fear of “emotional abuse” from her parent to her doctor that triggers a physician report of “a known or suspected child abuse” – this is the simple circumvention of the new law requiring parental disclosure for a minor’s abortion – is a cure worse than the disease! Where before it was necessary for actual evidence of abuse before a physician could report abuse, under this new law a parent could be reported if a pregnant minor “fears” abuse during a crisis moment, at the very time when they would have a motive to fabricate such a fear! Don't think organizations like Planned Parenthood won’t covertly coach girls in this “alternative” under the guise of full disclosure. Don't think organizations like the ACLU won’t have a heyday with this new law, and making case-law precedents about parental abuse soon to follow. While the intentions of the originators may have been good, I believe the law is flawed and dangerous.

Hasn't this law or similar laws been put in the ballot about twice already? Each time it was defeated, and I don't think Californians will vote for a stronger proposition in the future. We have to face it, California will be an unwelcoming place for pro-lifers for a long time. Christians and any other pro-life people may have to remove their children from public school due to this and other governmental acts which undermine parental authority. I even read one professor from Westminster Seminary CA say this, and this from a man not given into removing children from public school in general.

My name is Paula and I’m an intern for Ms. magazine. I just came across your blog post about California Proposition 4 and wanted to let you know about a new video that has just been released from the Feminist Majority Foundation, the publisher of Ms.

This November, South Dakotans will vote on a draconian abortion ban – Initiated Measure 11. I’m sure you are very aware how dangerous Measure 11 is to women’s reproductive health and rights, as it aims to make it nearly impossible for a woman to obtain an abortion in South Dakota. With help from some celebrities like Camryn Manheim, Amy Brenneman and Sara Ramirez, this video urges people to vote NO on 11 this November on the South Dakota ballot. Check it out/spread it around:

And of course, please check out our Vote No on 4 video:

Please consider posting these videos onto your website so it is made available to your visitors. We must do all that we can to preserve women’s reproductive rights and let women know what’s at risk this election!

Thanks for your consideration,

Paula Silinger
Ms. magazine

This most recent post is completely inappropriate for this blog. I think anyone who has taken the time to review this blog at all knows that our goal is to minimize and even eliminate the wanton killing of unborn people through abortion. So, we support the South Dakota ballot initiative in principle and, Paula, your postings are not only inappropriate, they are unwanted on this forum.

As far as the ACTUAL subject at hand, one could definitely argue that the passing of any parental rights measure would be good - we would all like to see the defense of traditional parental rights. However, when we look at these cases, it is good to look at the long term consequences as well as the short term consequences. Something like a chess game, where small sacrifices can be made to win the entire game. In this case, the ultimate strategy is to undermine parental rights all together. This measure gives us a pawn or perhaps a rook in the game. In the short term, it looks good - babies (at least a few) are saved, abortion could be reduced.

However, long term, like any strategy, the other side will likely make the strategic decision to find another Ms. Roe, much as they did in the infamous Roe vs. Wade decision that started this mess in the first place (Roe has since recanted and supports life, but the damage is done).

Since that is true, it should be noted that a single case can affect us all and impose the courts' opinion on all of us. This would be bad since the courts are now ruled by the opponents of parental rights and traditional values.

This test case need not work the first time, but in time, it will give the courts the right to define the very terms that we hope will protect us. Instead, they will be used to undermine all of our authority over our children.

Can you imagine what the world would look like if the state was to suspend parental rights through this provision? How many babies would be killed then in abortion clinics when we were no longer able to raise our kids properly?

So, this debate is not about abortion, really. We ALL agree (except Paula here) that abortion is VERY BAD and taking children to have an abortion is REALLY WRONG, especially when the parents are not even notified. But, upon review of the state of the courts and the fact that these exception terms are not legally defined, it would be an EXTREMELY bad idea to support this Proposition. Let's bring it back and this time write it properly. And if it takes more money, I suppose we'll have to fund the good work once more to get it right.

I will be voting NO on Prop. 4 for this reason and no other in order to defend parental rights over the long term.

Okay, normally I delete all ads, but I'm leaving Paula's up for these reasons.

1. For comedy's sake. That comment could seriously not be more out of place than it is on this blog. She didn't even take the time to read the whole title of the post. Let that be a lesson to all of you advertising trolls.

2. I do want all of you to know about Measure 11 in South Dakota. I was aware of it, but I haven't been hearing about it at all in the news. If you have friends or family in SD, please take a few minutes to talk to them about why we should all be pro-life. If you aren't familiar with STR's ideas about how to do this, take a look at this short SLED Test that explains why the differences between the unborn and toddlers aren't relevant to whether or not they should have rights, therefore, the unborn should also be granted rights.

3. I want you to go watch the YouTube video, and every time they say "choose," I want you to say instead "kill our unborn children." The word "choose" means nothing. We're not against choosing, We're against people killing unborn human beings. And they're not fighting to "choose," they're fighting for the right to kill unborn human beings. So insert the more accurate term, and...well, talk about draconian.

Killer rap lyric from the Measure 11 video:

"The constitution / should govern the land / not the hate being preached by a man / who thinks he can / choose the fate / of a woman who's choosing whether or not to create."

Ignoring for a second that question-begging bit about "choosing whether or not to create," who the heck is this "man"? The voters of South Dakota? Surely it doesn't mean THE Man?

Let's look at the experience in other states. First of all, about ten other states have provisions that allow the doctor to waive parental notification or consent if a minor alleges abuse and it is reported, without even the extra layer of another adult family member being notified, as Prop 4 has. Can the people who are saying "no on 4" here point to any problems in those states? In Wisconsin, we have better data. In the past 8 years, there have been exactly zero girls who have used the abuse/waiver provision. ZERO. One reason for that is undoubtedly that the abortionists themselves do not want to get enmeshed in a child abuse investigation. They don't HAVE to give the girl an abortion if she alleges abuse. If a girl comes in who may be just using this to get around her parents, he is going to tell her that she had better seek a judicial waiver, because he doesn't want to accept the responsibility.
Also, all this fantasy talk about the world turning upside down and judges stripping parents of their rights in other contexts ignores the fact that 34 other states have laws with judicial bypasses in place. Prop 4's judicial bypass is as strict as any and stricter than some.
BTW, Mark and Carey, the alternative family notification works only if the minor say that she fears abuse because she has been the victim of a "pattern of abuse" by a parent. That's what triggers the report: the pattern of past abuse. And that is no different from what a doctor would do right now if a minor told him that.
The idea that you are "protecting parental rights" by voting against a law that grants parental rights where they didn't exist before is nonsensical. Right now, anybody's minor daughter can get an abortion without them being notified. Thousands of girls in California do that every year. Parents have NO rights in this area. But somehow it threatens parental rights to give them rights? Huh?

Could someone please spell out for me the exact doomsday scenario they are so afraid of taking place if Prop 4 passes? Not vague stuff about "a judge could say . . ." Read Prop 4, imagine a scenario, put all the players in their places: was this judicial bypass or alternative family member? Is this arising in the context of a minor appealing the judicial bypass, or parents suing a doctor for failure to notify? Who argues what against whom? What exactly does the court rule?
And if you say, "Well, I'm not a lawyer, I don't know exactly how it would work," then we go back to my earlier post, which points out that Hanson and Nordell aren't lawyers either, but that lots of reputable lawyers HAVE looked at it, and they endorse Prop 4, because they DO know how it works, and they know that these sketchy fears are misplaced.

Although I like the idea of this proposition I have some concerns I agree with Robyn Nordell and Roy Hanson about some of the wording of prop 4. I am very uncomfortable with words such as "severe emotional abuse" I fear this term can be vastly manipulated. I am going to vote no

I am thankful for Roy Hanson and Robyn Nordell's vigilant analysis of Prop 4. After reading the arguments I support their opposition to this proposition which if passed could potentially have irrevocable consequences on our rights as parents.
Of particular concern is the potential impact of the "severe emotional abuse" claim by the pregnant teen. As identified in Nordell's scenario such claims would be unverifiable and will allow the positioning of "another family member" to replace the parent in notification (thus setting precedent for 'loose' and dangerous language to be placed in the state constitution) and facilitates the teen obtaining the abortion within 48 hours. As Roy Hanson importantly explains, one bad judgment on an "emotional abuse" case and its resultant new case law will result in irreversible changes in our state constitution. To be sure, the emotional abuse loophold could result in an increase in abortions that are deceptively validated by a newly defined family as well as serve as an ember to ignite the move for loss of traditional family autonomy.
A review of abortion history provides a parallel. Roe and its companion case Roe v. Bolton opened the door for abortions to be performed in the third trimester based on "health concerns" wihich the Supreme Court conceded included "mental health" concerns. Mental health in the abortion context meant any concern the woman may have about her well-being or happiness, thus justifying third trimester abortion on demand. Abortion statistics from California provide one of the best examples of thie impact of the mental health clause -- legal abortions rose from 5,000 per year in 1968 (the first full year under the state's reformed abortion law) to 100,000 per year in 1972, with almost all being done for reasons of mental health. Also, well before 1950 so called "therapeutic" abortions (performed for maternal health reasons) were justified by the physicians for "psychiatric" indications. In most cases this amounted to a brief interview by a physician not trained in psychology or psychiatry who provided the abortion because of sympathy to the patient's situation. As in the current "emotional abuse" clause, such claims were not properly evaluated and largely unverified. We must not ignore the existence of or undermine the importance of emotional abuse claims by teens. They must, however, be appropriately and competently evaluated in a balanced fashion with immediate family members infolved where possible and above all, substantianted by clinical evidence. If these clinical investigative standards are not followed loose applications of such claims could lead to false accusations and reduction or loss of parental rights over their children.
Although all of us who are pro-life are unified in the preservation of the life of the unborn let us carefully examine t this proposition and all of its future ramifications. As written, if passed, this could well serve to initiate a graduated scheme (as Roe and Roe v Bolton did for abortion) that will result in the actual loss of our God ordained parental rights. Let us prayerfully be as 'wise as serpents' on this one.

Neither of these posts answers my question. In what context would a court be interpreting these words?
I know I am repeating myself here, but if one looks at any parental consent or parental notification law, one will see language that makes one say, "Oh, that's not good. Think what a court could do with that." Each and every parental involvement law has a provision allowing a court to rule either that the abortion "is in the minor's best interest", or that notification of a parent "is not in her best interest." Isn't that more worrisome than "severe emotional abuse"?

I have to wonder if Prop 4 is such a bad idea then why do the following groups oppose it:

# California Teachers Association
#Planned Parenthood Affiliates of California
# California NOW
# Equality California
# The Let California Ring coalition

All are very liberal pro-choice organizations.

Follow the money.......

Again saying that other states have similar wording is not enough. We live in one of the most liberal states in the Union. We are called bigots for believing that marriage should only be between one man and one woman. Let’s role play a particular situation like Florence asks for.

A 15-year old girl goes to a planned parenthood “doctor” to get an abortion on Monday. He tells her that he needs to send a letter to her parents before she gets the abortion but if she doesn’t want her parents to know then she has the right to have another adult family member notified instead of her parents if there has been a pattern of emotional abuse by her parents.

The girl asks the “doctor” for help in going through this process. The girl files a petition with the juvenile court on Tuesday. The court will then assist the minor in preparing the documents required (subdivision g) in which she gives fear of severe emotional abuse as the reasoning for her petition. Planned parenthood provides her with a counsel. Since “the hearing shall be held by 5 p.m. on the second day after filing the petition” (subdivision g), lets say the hearing will be held on Thursday.

The gird with her planned parenthood attorney argue that the girls parents are fundamental Christian parents who have been dragging her to church against her will three times a week for years. (Please know that a child abuse case was brought up to the courts in Washington state because the boy, I believe 12 years old, went to a school counselor and complained that his parents took him to church too many times. The judge ruled in favor of the boy. He was taken away from his parents until the parents agreed to not take him to church as often.) The attorney would continue to argue: these fundamentalist parents also believe that the homosexual life style is a sin (which is hate speech in Colorado) and believe that premarital sex is wrong. They have been indoctrinating their children in these views. If her parents knew they would look at her as a reproach, she would be mocked by her parents and their fundamentalist friends. This would result in extreme mental stress and anguish on the part of the girl.

Note that parents cannot testify on their behalf since they are unaware that any of this is going on.

Now lets consider two possible outcomes:

1. The judge is a liberal judge. He agrees that the girl has undergone emotional abuse in the past and that it will intensify if her parent’s knew she was pregnant and wanted an abortion. Since “Judgment shall be entered within one court day of submission of the matter” the judge on Friday authorizes a waiver of notice. Subsection (h) (2) says “If the finding that notice to a parent is not in the best interests of the minor is based on evidence of physical, sexual, or emotional abuse, the court shall ensure that such evidence is brought to the attention of the appropriate law enforcement or public child protective agency.” So now not only have the parents been bypassed but the 15-year old girl, as well as any other siblings living at home, could be taken away by child protective services under the ruling that the parents emotional abused them.

2. The judge is not a liberal judge. The judge does not agree with the planned parenthood’s lawyer that the parents Christian beliefs constitute emotional abuse. The judge then rules against a bypass of parental notification. Planned parenthood is upset about the ruling and convinces the girl to appeal the decision, the Monday of the following week. The appeal must be heard within three court days of the filing of the notice. The appellate court hears the case on Thursday of week 2. Let’s say that the appellate court rules in favor of girl. This is a worse situation than is the first judge ruled in favor of the girl. Since it is an appellate court the decision affects the entire jurisdiction of that court (the entire county I believe). So now there is precedence that emotional abuse is taking your kids to church more than once a week and believing that the homosexual lifestyle is wrong. Now kids from families that had nothing to do with this case can be taken away from their parents simply because their parents are conservative Christian parents.

Mary! Thank you for your efforts in the last posting. I got a lot out of it, and am definitely on the fence with how to vote on Prop 4, even though I still have my VOTE YES bumper sticker on my car! What do you think, Florence? Did this scenario help you in any way? I am still not sure (which is driving me crazy). I don't get why the other states that have similar laws are NOT having problems such as what is painted by Mary. I would think they certainly would, even if they are a more conservative state, there's always people out to find and use a loophole if they can. If similar laws are working in other states, and Prop 4 was modeled after those laws, it's just still hard to say. I cannot picture CA passing anything more strictly written proposition in the future. Is it better just to leave all this alone? Maybe my conscience will have me NOT VOTE at all on Prop 4. It's a sad thing.

Please vote!

And if your conscience is the issue, please determine to bring this legislation back! It is a good thing to have parental notification, but the actual wording of this legislation is what is in question. If what we need to do is re-write it and bring it back, then that is what we will do.

None of us wants to allow our child to be enticed into killing her child by promoters of abortion. AND none of us wants the state to eliminate parental rights based on one case. There was such a case this year that started as a civil complaint against a single family with allegation of child abuse and turned, at one point, to outlaw homeschooling for the ENTIRE STATE. So, the scenario above is entirely possible. (The case was, thankfully, and - Praise to God - reversed six months or so later.)

If 4 passes, we would simply be "asking" the opponents of parental rights to find another "Jane Roe" to float a case AS MANY TIMES AS IT TAKES to undermine every parental right in this state. This is a tactical advantage that they will have to finally grant the state control over OUR KIDS. And it can be used as many times as necessary to legally "define" the terms, which can result in untold damage to parental rights.

If you want this to pass, but understand that the wording of this particular legislation is the problem, please determine to be part of the solution. Determine to defeat 4 as written and bring it back again - this time with wording that is both on-point and safe.

And, BTW, the other side will always stand against anything that resembles parental rights. Their opposition of this legislation is expected and simply consistent with their charter. It's about raising YOUR kids, not about what's best for them. Don't be fooled.

Once again, you missed the point. The standard for granting the judicial bypass is "best interest of the minor," not "emotional abuse." (BTW, Mary, you have mixed up the two provision, the judicial bypass and the alternative family member notification). THus, a court WOULD NOT BE RULING that any particular conduct constitutes emotional abuse, because that is not the standard. To be specific as to scenario 2, the issue on appeal would be precisely this: "Did this minor present clear and convincing evidence that notification of a parent would not be in her best interest." That's all. Nothing about emotional abuse, because abuse only comes into it as something the trial court must report if he sees evidence of. In your hypothetical, the "not liberal" judge would not see that as evidence of emotional abuse.
Moreover, if the goal of these liberal judges is to get these girls their secret abortions, then they will NOT make gratuitous findings of emotional abuse which would then be reported and possibly initiate a CPS investigation and blow the girl's cover. Rather they will find ONLY what they have to find, i.e., that notification of a parent is not in the minor's best interest, and leave it at that.
As to California being SOOO much more liberal than other states that we can't use their experience as a guide, please understand that Massachusetts has had parental consent law in place since 1982. Yes, 1982. If judges are just itching to use these laws to undermine parental rights, you should be able to find some evidence of that.
Not to be insulting, but these arguments remind me of PP's arguments in that all the weight and focus is on these "what if" scenarios, that have never happened in states with these laws, and virtually no attention is paid to the actual tragedy of thousands of girls receiving secret abortions every year, parents being deceived, girls being exploited, predators going free and babies dying. That's the reality, but no, we have to look at completely far-fetched "what if" scenarios and hope for a "better law" someday.
Don't you understand: the judicial bypass, with the "best interest" standard, is REQUIRED under US Supreme Court precedent. There is no way around it. There is no point debating it. It HAS to be there, or the law WILL, not might, be struck down in federal court.

P.S. You don't have to rely on anecdotal evidence to find out if bad things have happened to parental rights in other states because of the judicial bypass. Finding cases of courts expanding the judicial bypass to other areas would not be hard to do, IF they existed. Any lawyer or law student would know how to look for them. First, find the section of a particular state code that has the judicial bypass. Second, search the cases where that section has been cited. When nothing turns up there, then take the search one more level, and shepardize the cases where the "best interest" standard was applied. Let me know if you find anything.

Sorry, one more thing: there is a new point-by-point response to Roy Hanson's "Updated Analysis" posted at:

Please before you vote!

Find out why voting against Prop 4 is a pro-abortion vote.
Thousands of lives of unborn children depend on passing Proposition 4, minors won't be damaged physically and emotionally and parents won't know too late as with Sarah.

Prop 4 has a chance of passing. We must not let what "might" happen stand in the way. Thanks.

What "might" happen is important to thonk about. Lwas, especially poorly planned ones have consequences. If there is doubt about the long term problems with Prop. 4, one should vote no.

Florence uses the argument that other states with similar laws haven't had problems as a defense for Proposition 4, but we know that Prop 4 is not identical to the laws in other states. All it takes is one sentence or even a word to get very different results. Also, California is not like other states. We have a huge population, liberal government, and courts that make horrendous decisions.
On the other hand, I DO know that Roy Hanson has been fighting for the protection of parental and family rights, including opposing abortion for more than 2 decades. His organization has an enviable reputation for fighting for righteous legislation and opposing evil. His concerns cannot be so easily dismissed.
In addition, Proposition 4 has been written with so many qualifications and loopholes--possibly to attract support from those who might support a "soft" form of parental notification but never a tough parental consent law.
Florence, herself, points out that compromises have been inserted because they are required for constitutional reasons or because the law wouldn't pass without them. Both excuses tell me that there is language in the law that is dangerous to our concerns.

An all or nothing attitude is a bad attitude to have in democratic politics, at least in general. There will be many times where you will have to compromise, choose the lesser of evils, or not participate, whether it's propositions or candidates.

As to California taking away parental rights, when has it acknowleged them? I'm not a lawyer or very knowledgeable about this, so I can be wrong. But from what I have heard and seen, California is moving more towards undermining parental authority without the help of Prop. 8. Whithin the past year or two, a court decision was issued in CA which basically stated that parents don't have a right to control certain things in their children's lives when they are in public school.

I appreciate Mr. Hanson's analysis of Sarah's Law and the excellent job that he has done in protecting families over the years. I will be voting no on this proposition.


The problem here is that everyone is talking about a "potential" for action. This is not the right foundation for the conversation.

Our goal is to eliminate abortion in the United States. It is also and stems from, in this case, the ability for parents to direct our children in this state.

What this bill was intended to do is to undergird parental control of the administration of medical procedures on their children - to be able to direct them as they grow. This is all very reasonable and logical.

The problem is that it also gives a TACTICAL weapon to those who want to eliminate parental rights altogether by introducing an undefined LEGAL term into the state constitution. This term can be then attributed to any arbitrary meaning, determined by whatever court hears about it first, and within their jurisdiction.

Since cases will be argued from a single viewpoint, as eloquently described above, it is only a matter of time before some parental right, in any arbitrary form, is declared the meaning of these terms and therefore deemed illegal.

The repercussions on abortions cannot be overstated. They will not be reduced - rather, they will increase because of the LOSS of parental rights. This is why this is such a BIG ISSUE.

We are in a battle, if you haven't realized it yet. Prop. 4 gives a tactical advantage that we cannot afford to give. The proper course of action is to bring this back, written correctly, and be sure to pass it then.

"The proper course of action is to bring this back, written correctly, and be sure to pass it then."
I have a question for those who are calling for a "better" "correctly written" law with no "loopholes." Where were you during the campaign for Prop 73 and 85? Those propositions did not have the alternative family member notification provision, one of the two provisions that is causing so much heartburn. (The other provision is the judicial bypass, which, as explained above, is CONSTITUTIONALLY REQUIRED.) So where were you when we were trying to get the "better" laws passed, which didn't have the alternative family member exception? I distributed flyers, gave money, hosted a big fundraiser, spoke in several places, coordinated churches,and generally worked myself to a state of near-collapse to get those passed. Where were you while we were working our tails off to pass those propositions without those troubling "qualifications and loopholes"? If you recall, we lost. Where were you?

Do you think there is some silent Christian, pro-life, pro-family majority in California just waiting to support the right tightest-in-the-nation parental consent law? And that the clergy too are just waiting for the opportunity to speak out? And that thousands of donors are going to open their checkbooks and say, "This is SO important. How much do you need?" Only someone who has had NO involvement in actually trying to pass a pro-life law in this state could think like that.

If you can't bring yourself to vote yes on 4, then please don't vote at all. Don't have your vote counted as a vote for abortion on demand.


I am not about to get into an argument with you. It does not matter where I was - I voted for every pro-family, pro-life effort we had.

This is an argument of desperation where you realize that you're defending a position that ultimately will HURT parental rights, including ending abortion.

I will vote. And I AM working on parental rights efforts. And I AM aware of the difficulties of doing this - more than you could possibly know. Your accusations indicate that you would not want to address the question. This is FLAWED legislation. And at this point, nothing can be done to change it. So I will vote to have my voice counted for PARENTAL RIGHTS and defense of the unborn. However, I won't stop there. I will work as I have been to end abortion in this country.

We are on the same side, Florence. We are both passionate about the issue. Do not let this argument divide our camp. We will need to stand together on Wednesday and close ranks to defeat abortion in all places in this nation.

So, Florence, please don't vilify me - or Robyn Nordell or Roy Hansen for that matter. Everyone on this forum (just about) is on the same side - there is just error in some of the wording of this legislation that can seriously hurt both the cause of the legislation and traditional parental rights in California.

You know that. I know that.

So tomorrow, we will vote. If it passes, we will make plans to ensure that the wording does not cause the terrible ramifications we can envision. If it does not, we will bring more legislation back and work in the interim to continue changing the culture to reject abortion everywhere.

When you vote tomorrow, vote your conscience. I will as well. And let us stand together in two days against abortion and for parental rights as we all have in the past. This is not a debate about the fundamental issue, it is about the particular words used. Let's leave it there.

I don't want to address the question of this "flawed" legislation?? Read all my prior posts. Read the pages and pages addressing these objections on the Prop 4 webpage and on But no matter what has been written, there is this unshakeable belief that we can have a "better" law, despite U.S. Supreme Court precedent, despite the political realities on the ground, despite the fact that these alleged "flaws" are based on a lack of understanding of how the judicial system works.
No, Prop 4 is not a "flawed" law. What is flawed is the reasoning of people who are criticizing it without a full understanding of what it says, why it says it, what it means, how these laws work, etc.

The one aspect of this debate that seems to be missing is the rise of the New Athiests and what impact their arguments will have on this debate.

Who are the New Athiests they include such N.Y.Times Best Selling Authors such as Richard Dawkins author of "The God Delusion" and Christopher Hitchens author of "God is Not Great: How Religion Poisons Everything". They make no distincion between Christians and Muslims, radical or otherwise. So they can in an articulate and erudiate manner make arguments such as "Sunday School is Child Abuse" because they see teaching any religion to children as emotionally damaging to the psyche.

As N.Y. Times Best Selling Authors they are very influential with the legislative, academic, education, & legal elites who have been the bain of the conservative movement over the past 50 years. They are regularly interviewed by fawning "reporters" on PBS, CNN, the BBC, ABC, NBC, & CBS.

Which brings me to the issue of the two undefined phrases inserted into Prop. 4, namely emotional abuse and severe emotional abuse. These phrases are inserted into the definition of child abuse for the first time in California law as part of Prop. 4, which is an amendment to the state constitution not just a statute. Over time the arguments of the New Atheists will be used to turn these terms to harm our 1st Amendment rights forcing on us as conservative pro-lifers, another battle in the ongoing culture war that would be of our own making.

Even though abortion is murder, the saving of souls is the primary mission of God's church. So, we are presented with a dilema. Do we vote for a law which will prevent a very limited number of abortions from taking place and will expose some actual pedofiles who are not smart enough to navigate the loopholes in this law, even though it very likely will harm the spread of the gospel down the road and harm parental rights by exposing some innocent parents to false accusations in a courtroom without their due process rights, setting precedent for future cases? Or do we allow this Proposition to fail, preserving for the momment the ability to spread the gospel using the whole word of God and hoping that in 2 years we can come together and get passed a proposition that would preserve life by limiting abortion and could stop all pedofiles, without exposing to harming our 1st Amendment or due process rights?

That is the dilema we as Pro-life voters face in this year's election.

California statutes already prohibit the "emotional abuse", "emotional harm", "emotional damage", "serious emotional damage", and "mental suffering" of chldren. See :
California Welfare and Institutions Code Sections 300 , 15210, 5865.3,
California Penal Code Sections 273a, 278.7, 11410-11414, 11165.05
Then vote YES on Prop 4.

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