CBNNews.com - A new poll shows that Californians narrowly favor a ballot measure that would require parents to be notified before an unmarried minor gets an abortion.
The poll shows that Latinos strongly support the notification measure.
The initiative known as Proposition 4 would require parental notification, not consent. For example, a girl younger than 18 could ask a doctor for an abortion, but the doctor would then have to send a letter to her parents.
Even if the parent opposed the procedure, the abortion can still be performed 48 hours later.
Slim Majority Support
A field poll shows that 49 percent support the initiative while 41 percent oppose it.
Similar propositions were introduced in 2005 and 2006, but both were defeated. Proposition 4 has since been revised to allow the minor to notify another adult family member should there be any suspected abuse by a parent.
Voters Who Could Make the Difference
Those who are undecided could make a crucial difference, but Field Poll director Mark DiCamillo sees another factor at play this time.
"If there's a shift going on, it's coming from the Latino voters," DiCamillo told San Jose's Mercury News. "Because this is a presidential election, Latino voters will constitute a larger proportion of the turnout than was true two years ago."
Latino voters, who are overwhelmingly Catholic, are expected to be 17 percent of the electorate in November. They appear to be favoring the measure 62 percent to 31 percent - a 31-point margin. In 2006, the margin among Latinos was 22 percentage points, DiCamillo said.
Parents Right to Know?
Most who support the measure said they believed parents needed to be involved or parents "have a right to know."
"My heart aches for any woman who has to go through that," said Velma McIntire, 54, who supports parental notification.
"I've had friends and relatives who had an abortion at a young age and they are going through so much counseling now," she said. "If a mom has gone through that and their daughters are pregnant, they can say, 'You know? Been there, done that.' So I'm real passionate about that."
Most of the opponents of Proposition 4 said they view abortion as a woman's personal decision. They argue that protections should be made for those children who have a difficult relationship with their parents and where the revelation of an unwanted pregnancy could make matters worse.
Sources: CBN News, MercuryNews.com