Dueling ‘bubble’ ads for and against Prop. 4

Here’s a recently released ad from the campaign against Proposition 4, the proposed state constitutional amendment which would require doctors to inform the parent or guardian of a minor 48 hours before providing an abortion to that minor. It’s actually recycled from the campaign against Proposition 85 of 2006, a measure nearly identical to this year’s Proposition 4 which voters rejected 54.2 percent to 45.8 percent.

And here’s the “Yes on 4” folks’ response:

Actually, I see problems with both ads.

In the “No on 4” ad, it’s not necessarily true that abusive or violent parents would have to be notified; Proposition 4 provides that pregnant minors could petition a juvenile court to waive the notification requirement, presenting evidence that they’re mature and informed enough to decide whether to have an abortion or not or that parental notification wouldn’t be in their best interest. Opponents of the measure have noted it’s unlikely an abused, pregnant teen would be able to mount a court argument this way.

And in the “Yes on 4” ad, the victim in question had been impregnanted by her stepfather, who then oversaw her abortion; Planned Parenthood had no way of knowing this, and under Proposition 4, the stepfather could’ve accepted the parental notification without the mother ever knowing.

Josh Richman

Josh Richman covers state and national politics for the Bay Area News Group. A New York City native, he earned a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Missouri and reported for the Express-Times of Easton, Pa. for five years before coming to the Oakland Tribune and ANG Newspapers in 1997. He is a frequent guest on KQED Channel 9’s “This Week in Northern California;” a proud father; an Eagle Scout; a somewhat skilled player of low-stakes poker; a rather good cook; a firm believer in the use of semicolons; and an unabashed political junkie who will never, EVER seek elected office.