California Proposition 73, Parental Notification for Minor's Abortion (2005)

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California Proposition 73 was on the November 8, 2005 special statewide ballot in California as an initiated constitutional amendment, where it was defeated.

Proposition 73 would have established a mandatory waiting period and parental notification before a minor could obtain an abortion. Similar propositions (Proposition 85 on the 2006 ballot and Proposition 4 on the 2008 ballot) were tried in later years, and also lost.

Election results

Proposition 73
Defeatedd No4,023,84052.7%
Yes 3,610,475 47.3%

Constitutional changes

California Constitution

If Proposition 73 had been approved, it would have added a new Section 32 to Article I of the California Constitution.

Ballot language


The ballot title was:

Waiting Period and Parental Notification Before Termination of Minor's Pregnancy. Initiative Constitutional Amendment.


The question on the ballot was:

"Should the California Constitution be amended to require notification of the parent or legal guardian of an unemancipated, pregnant minor at least 48 hours before performing an abortion on the minor?"


The official summary said:

  • Amends California Constitution, prohibiting abortion for unemancipated minor until 48 hours after physician notifies minor's parent/legal guardian, except in medical emergency or with parental waiver.
  • Defines abortion as causing "death of the unborn child, a child conceived but not yet born."
  • Permits minor to obtain court order waiving notice based on clear, convincing evidence of minor's maturity or best interests.
  • Mandates various reporting requirements.
  • Authorizes monetary damages against physicians for violation.
  • Requires minor's consent to abortion, with certain exceptions.
  • Permits judicial relief if minor's consent coerced.

Fiscal impact

See also: Fiscal impact statement

The fiscal estimate provided by the California Legislative Analyst's Office said:

  • "Potential unknown net state costs of several million dollars annually for health and social services programs, the courts, and state administration combined."


Map showing county distribution of Proposition 73 votes


The official voter guide arguments in favor of Proposition 73 were signed by:

  • William P. Clark, who served on the California Supreme Court from 1973–1981
  • Mary L. Davenport, M.D., Fellow of the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists
  • Maria Guadalupe Garcia, an organizing director of the Parents’ Right to Know and Child Protection/YES ON 73 campaign committee
  • Prof. Teresa Stanton Collett, J.D.
  • Jane E. Anderson, M.D., FAAP, Clinical Professor of Pediatrics, University of California, San Francisco, School of Medicine
  • Katherine R. Dowling, M.D., FAAP, FAAFP, Associate Professor Emeritus, Family Medicine University of Southern California, School of Medicine[1]

Arguments in favor

Supporters of Proposition 73 made these arguments in its favor in the state's official voter guide:

  • "In California, a daughter under 18 can’t get an aspirin from the school nurse, get a flu shot, or have a tooth pulled without a parent knowing. However, surgical or chemical abortions can be secretly performed on minor girls—even 13 years old or younger—without parents’ knowledge. Parents are then not prepared to help young daughters with any of the serious physical, emotional, or psychological complications which may result from an abortion or to protect their daughters from further sexual exploitation and pregnancies."
  • "A study of over 46,000 pregnancies of school-age girls in California found that over two-thirds were impregnated by adult men whose mean age was 22.6 years."
  • "Investigations have shown that secret abortions on minors in California are rarely reported to child protective services although these pregnancies are evidence of statutory rape and sexual abuse. This leaves these girls vulnerable to further sexual abuse, rapes, pregnancies, abortions, and sexually transmitted diseases."
  • "Parents and daughters in more than 30 other states have benefited for years from laws like Prop. 73. Many times, after such laws pass, there have been substantial reductions in pregnancies and abortions among minors."
  • "When parents are involved and minors cannot anticipate secret access to free abortions they more often avoid the reckless behavior which leads to pregnancies. Older men, including Internet predators, are deterred from impregnating minors when secret abortions are not available to conceal their crimes."[1]


$2,594,531 was contributed to the campaign in favor of a "yes" vote on Proposition 73, through four different campaign committees. The largest committee, "Life on the Ballot", spent $2.18 million.[2]

Donors of $100,000 or more were:

Donor Amount
James Holman $1,356,398
Don Sebastiani $350,000
Tom Monaghan $250,000
California Republican Party $123,069
Fieldstad & Co. $115,900



Arguments against


The "No on 73" side spent $5,637,252 through six different campaign committees. The largest committee, the "Campaign for Teen Safety", spent $5.5 million.[3]

Donors of $100,000 or more were:

Donor Amount
Planned Parenthood of Mar Monte $687,849
Planned Parenthood of Los Angeles County $563,758
Planned Parenthood (Golden Gate) $311,419
Planned Parenthood of San Diego $306,769
Planned Parenthood of Orange and San Bernardino Counties $286,458
Planned Parenthood (Shasta Diablo) $283,163
Rebecca Q. Morgan $250,000
Planned Parenthood Affiliates of California $155,204
California Family Health Council $150,000
Planned Parenthood of Santa Barbara, Ventura and San Luis Obispo Counties $126,669
NARAL Pro-Choice California $109,969
Susan Packard Orr $100,000
Julie Packard $100,000
Marta Kauffman $100,000

Path to the ballot

See also: California signature requirements

The signature-gathering drive to qualify Proposition 73 for the ballot was conducted by Bader & Associates, Inc., a petition management company owned by Tom Bader and Joy Bader, at a cost of $2,527,611.[4]

See also

External links