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                                       politics + culture

Saturday, August 27, 2005

Proposition 73

Proposition 73 is a ballot initiative that would change the Constitution of the State of California making "Parental Notification" a requirement for young women seeking abortion from their health care providers. It will pass if it receives 50% 'plus one' of the vote on November 8th.

Fellow Californian, Malacandra, in a comment responding to my "this blog is your blog" diary on dKos, used Proposition 73 to highlight the ways in which coalition is never perfect:

"...[H]ere in California, we've got - in my opinion - 6 ballot initiatives that need to die a death. There's an alliance of unions that is well organized to combat... 5 of them. The one they aren't taking on is Prop 73, which requires parental consent for teens seeking an abortion. This proposition would amend the Constitution of California, which neatly skirts any constitutional challenges we might have tried in the courts if this passed. I think this is a serious erosion of women's rights in this state, and I get so livid about it that I can't speak... and it pisses me off that one of our best allies in fighting Arnold's initiatives... is giving this one a pass.

This is one circumstance, but it illustrates how all coalitions are imperfect. We can waste a lot of time bickering among ourselves about a solidarity and alignment of opinion that will never come, or accept the fact that we're not always on the same page... and work together on our shared objectives. And also fully realize that we'll more than occassionally stumble over each other's toes too.

I'm not able to change what these unions have chosen to do, but I can work with those who want to help me beat Prop 73 as well as those going after 74 thru 78."


This strikes me as right on, and productively honest. (And I hear the underlying criticism of my post at dKos as well...if you believe in coalition you have to walk and talk like it, and that's not always easy.)

Proposition 73 is wrong for California:

  • wrong for our young women, especially the vulnerable ones who need privacy most
  • wrong because it's being pushed by folks with an agenda who want to write their religion into our government
  • wrong because we should not amend our constitution to take away rights
  • and wrong because it was written with anti-abortion language that spills over into the realm of contraception, something all of us want our teenagers to have access to.


  • The bottom line is that California teenagers should have the right to reproductive health care and privacy. Our teens should be safe, whatever the state of their relationship to their parents or peers. You can't legislate a communicative relationship between a parent and a child, even though most families DO have good communication and talk about the important things. This iniative isn't even meant to do that, and couldn't if it tried. It's a divisive attempt to rewrite our laws according to a religious agenda.

    At the same time, it's fair to point out that the NARAL website I linked to above does represent the other side of the failure in the divide between Labor and choice activists here. NARAL's language and take isn't broad enough, in my view; they come off as preaching to the choir. But that doesn't mean NARAL doesn't deserve support...they are right on this one....what they need is allies. NARAL needs coalition, like all of us do, which is what Malacandra was getting at.

    {Update: JaninSanFran provides this valuable link to the California Nurses Association's "Stop Arnold" page. The nurses are pushing a "no" across the board that includes 73.}

    3 Comments:

    • Need to add that the failure of California labor to get out there against Prop. 73 is NOT universal. The California Nurses Association, which has led the charge against Arnold, has adopted the position NO on all the initiatives -- precisely to include Prop. 73. See here for the way CNA frames the election. They will hopefully be louder about this down the line. This is a small break from the more cautious (chickenshit?) behavior of the rest of CA labor.

      By Blogger janinsanfran, at 10:51 AM  

    • NO on everything seems a smart tactic for herding uninformed voters as well. an elegent solution to the usual crush of obscure props.

      By Anonymous wu ming, at 11:06 AM  

    • Great comments and link, Jan. I am going to update the diary to include this link.

      Thanks!

      By Blogger kid oakland, at 8:04 PM  

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