Signature Collection Approved for Abortion Initiative

The proposed law would also require reporting of specific abortion information to the state

Backers of an initiative to require doctors to notify parents when a minor seeks to have an abortion received permission to begin gathering signatures from Secretary of State Debra Bowen this week.

The initiative would require the girl to wait 48 hours to have an abortion after the physician or other medical professional notifies her parent or legal guardian in writing.

Exceptions would be provided for medical emergency, parental waiver or parental abuse document by notarized statement from law enforcement, protective services or certain relatives. A judge would be allowed to waive notice if the girl appears in court and proves maturity or a waiver is in her best interest.

Reporting of specific abortion information to the state would also be required.

If the initiative were to become law, it would result in potential unknown net state costs, likely of several million dollars annually for health and social services programs, court administration and state health agency administration, according to an analysis prepared by the Legislative Analyst and director of finance.

Valid signatures from 807,615 registered voters -- 8 percent of the total votes cast for governor in the 2010 general election -- must be submitted by April 14 to qualify the measure for the November 2014 ballot, Bowen said.

Similar measures were defeated in 2005, 2006 and 2008.

Copyright CNS - City News Service
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