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News - November 8

Proposition 73 Waiting Period and Parental Notification Before Termination of Minor’s Pregnancy VoteCircle Summary Prop 73 requires, with certain exceptions, a doctor to notify the parent or legal guardian of a pregnant minor at least 48 hours before aborting the minor’s pregnancy. (This measure does not require a physician or a minor to get permission from the parent or guardian, just notify them before performing the abortion.) This measure applies only to cases involving an “unemancipated” minor (a female under the age of 18 who has not entered into a valid marriage, is not on active duty in the military, and has not been declared free from her parents’ or guardians’ custody and control). How would the doctor notify the parents? A physician would be required to notify the parent or legal guardian either by: Written Notification in Person — Written notice could be provided to the parent or guardian personally. Example — The doctor would hand the parent or guardian a letter. OR Written Notification by Mail — A parent or guardian could be sent a written notice by certified mail so long as a return receipt was requested by the physician and delivery of the notice was restricted to the parent or guardian who must be notified. An additional copy of the written notice would have to be sent at the same time to the parent or guardian by first-class mail. Under this method, notification would be presumed to have occurred as of noon on the second day after the written notice was mailed. When would the doctor not have to notify the parents? Prop 73 provides that the doctor would not have to notify the minor’s parent or legal guardian in the following situations: Medical Emergencies — If the doctor determines, and writes it is the minor’s medical record, that the abortion is necessary to prevent the mother’s death or that a delay would “create serious risk of substantial and irreversible impairment of a major bodily function.” Waiver Approved by Parent or Guardian — A minor’s parent or guardian could waive the notification requirements, including the waiting period, by submitting a signed, written waiver form to the doctor. Waiver Approved by the Court — The pregnant minor could ask a juvenile court to waive the notification requirements. A court could if it finds that the minor is sufficiently mature and well-informed to decide whether to have an abortion or that notification would not be in the minor’s best interest. If the court denies the minor’s request for the waiver, the minor could appeal that decision to an appellate court. If the minor seeks a court waiver…..The minor would not have to pay court fees, would be appointed a temporary guardian and provided other assistance in the case by the court, and would be ent_tled to an attorney appointed by the court. If the minor seeks a court waiver….The ident_ty of the minor would be kept confidential. If the minor seeks a court waiver….The court would generally have to hear and make a decision within three business days of receiving the waiver request. Then the appellate court would have to hear and decide any appeal within four business days. The proposition also requires that, in any case in which the court finds evidence of physical, s_xual, or emotional abuse by the parent or guardian, the court must refer the evidence to the county child protection agency. Reporting Prop 73 requires the doctor to file a form reporting certain information to the state Department of Health Services (DHS) within one month after performing an abortion on a minor. What information would the doctor provide to the state? The DHS form would include: The ident_ty of the physician. The date and place where the abortion was performed. The minor’s month and year of birth. Certain other information about the circ_mstances under which the abortion was performed. What information would not be reported to the state? The forms would not identify the minor or any parent or guardian by name. Based on these forms, DHS would compile certain statistical information relating to abortions performed on minors in an annual report that would be made available to the public. Penalties If Prop 73 passes, what happens to a doctor that doesn’t follow the new law? Any person who performs an abortion on a minor and does not follow the new law could be sued by the minor, the minor’s legal representative, or by a parent or guardian. Also any person, other than the minor or her physician, who provides false information, and knows the information is false, that notice of an abortion has been provided to a parent or guardian would be guilty of a misdemeanor punishable by a fine. In other words, if someone (like a nurse ort someone else who works at the doctor’s office) says that the parent or legal guardian was provided notice, but knows that they weren’t notified, could be fined. Prop 73 also allows a minor to seek assistance from the juvenile court if anyone tries to coerce her to have an abortion. The court would be required to consider cases like this quickly and could take whatever action it deems necessary to prevent coercion.der cases like this quickly and could take whatever action it finds necessary to prevent coercion.


NEWS - November 8




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