Voters Protect Teen Safety
California Voters Reject Prop. 73
CALIFORNIA — Planned Parenthood affiliates in California are delighted that California voters rejected Prop. 73 which would have put so many teenagers at risk. The parental notification initiative lost by a margin of 52.6% NO to 47.4% YES.
Prop. 73 would have amended California's constitution to force doctors to notify parents of teens under the age of 18 before providing abortion services, require a mandatory waiting period of 48 hours and would have written into the California State Constitution a definition of "unborn child, a child conceived but not yet born."
"What this means is that California voters put the health and safety of teens first, and that they respect women's constitutional rights," said Kathy Kneer, president and CEO of Planned Parenthood Affiliates of California (PPAC).
For more than four months, California affiliates, working together with coalition partners through county committees, mobilized more than 1,000 volunteers to contact potential voters about the dangers of Prop. 73. In the last two days before the election, our volunteers contacted more than 23,000 voters and urged them to cast their NO vote at the polls.
"The more voters heard about the dangers of Prop. 73, the more they opposed it," said Justine Sarver, PPAC vice president.
California affiliates also organized an army of letter writers who submitted and had printed close to 100 letters to the editor opposing Prop. 73. They also brought together doctors, pastors, parents and providers to visit with editorial boards throughout the state and ultimately won more than 40 newspaper endorsements of the No on 73 position. The campaign's earned media program reached out to the smallest weekly and the largest dailies whose reporters repeatedly wrote about this initiative in "real world" terms.
"Our sincere thanks also extends to our sister affiliates from 15 other states, whose fundraising, phone banking and staff support were invaluable to the campaign," Kneer said. "The California affiliates who generously bank-rolled this campaign from Day One got us off to a great start with the working capital we needed to continue our message research, hire campaign staff and begin the coalition building"
The California CEOs and local boards more than doubled their initial contribution through major donors, fund raising events, and the additional contributions helped to put the campaign on television, radio and to purchase strategically-placed newspaper ads.
"The No on 73 campaign has set a new benchmark for all of our future political work within California," Sarver said. "A new, unwritten, but very real policy of mutual aid was borne out of our efforts. People in California and across the nation know that Planned Parenthood is a force to be reckoned with."