Dear YES on 4 supporter,
A NO on 4 columnist named Tom Elias
ran a column on Tuesday making absolutely outrageous claims about girls dying
where there are parental notification laws. See here
We have written a response to submit to the paper we saw it in and any others we
find, but the problem is that this is a syndicated column that appears in papers
all over the state so it is going to be very hard to catch up with them all.
This is a job for YES on 4 bloggers and e-commenters.
We need to get
the word out fast that this guy is a LIAR.
There are no "studies" no
"case histories," he is just making this stuff up. You can't even
think that maybe he is just repeating what PP told him, because PP has
never made claims this outrageous.
Here is a response written by Katie Short, one of the
authors of Prop 4:
In warning his readers about Proposition 4, the parental notification
initiative, Tom Elias
makes some bold
assertions about "case histories" showing girls getting back alley abortions or
self-aborting when faced with the prospect of a parent being notified.
His claims are pure, unadulterated fiction.
no case histories, no studies, no support at all for his oh-so-scientific sounding
proclamations. The opponents of Prop 4 are unable to point
to a single case of a minor being harmed by a parental involvement law.
But with "journalists" like Mr. Elias around to fabricate this stuff, why would
they need facts or evidence? It's in the newspaper; it must be true.
If Mr. Elias has any integrity, he will put up or shut
up. Show us the "case histories" and the "studies" indicating
"the percentage of back- alley abortions goes up" with notification laws, or admit
he made it all up. Not even Planned Parenthood, the main
opposition to Proposition 4, has made claims as wild as these.
Moving from full lies to half-lies, Mr. Elias states that, under Prop 4, a minor
from an abusive home could only get a waiver to tell another adult family member
if there was a "formal record" or "formal history" of abuse by a parent. That's incorrect.
Prop 4 allows the doctor to notify another adult family
member in place of a parent whenever a girl states in writing that she has been
the victim of abuse by either parent. The doctor then follows the same notification
procedure for the adult relative that would have been followed for the parent, and
the abortion may take place within days.
At the same time, the doctor reports the abusive situation to the proper child welfare
authorities, so that the girl can receive the help she needs.
Compare what happens to Mr. Elias's hypothetical Susie, beaten regularly by her
abusive father, with and without Prop 4. Without Prop 4, she gets a secret abortion
and returns home to the same abusive situation, living in constant fear that her
father will find out anyway. With Prop 4, she can still
have the abortion if she chooses, but she is finally put in contact with adults
outside her immediate family who will help her out of this dangerous situation.
And suppose Susie wasn't impregnated by "young Jason," but, because of the abusive
situation at home, had turned to an older man, ready and willing to provide her
the "affection" she was lacking at home.
Without Prop 4, she gets a secret abortion and returns not only to her abusive home,
but to an exploitive relationship, putting her at risk of further pregnancies and
abortions, not to mention the variety of sexually transmitted diseases which randy
older men are more likely to carry and spread. With Prop
4, there is both someone in her family and someone trained to deal with sexual exploitation
of minors to help her break free.
But suppose, as Mr. Elias says, the older man was her stepfather.
Wait: we don't have to hypothesize.
We know exactly how it works without Prop 4 in place.
A recent California Supreme Court decision related how a 39-year-old man impregnated his 13-year-old stepdaughter. He took her to Planned Parenthood twice and then to
San Francisco General for
a late-term abortion. No medical provider reported the
abuse, and the man continued to molest this young girl for seven more months after
the abortion until her mother found out and turned him in.
This is the status quo Mr. Elias wants to preserve?
Over 30 states, both red and blue, have parental involvement laws in place that
are protecting young girls. California voters should provide the same protection
to vulnerable girls in our own state by voting Yes on 4.