Calif Prop 4 -- Another anti-choice ballot initiative ... and what you can do
by Airpower, Sun Sep 28, 2008 at 12:11:21 PM EDT
Cross-posted at DailyKos
Proposition 4 on California's general election ballot is an initiative measure to amend the California State Constitution to impede a minor's ability to obtain an abortion, even in the case of rape or incest. If you think this is familiar, you are right. Twice in the past three years, Californians have narrowly defeated two similar measures -- Propositions 73 in November, 2005 and 85 in November, 2006. But this time, the measure is in danger of passing. A poll (caution: .pdf file) conducted by the well-respected Field Research Corporation has it at Yes 49, No 41, with 10 percent undecided as of September 26th. All of this in a state that is 71% pro-choice.
Proposition 4 changes the California Constitution to prohibit abortion for minors (caution: large pdf file) until 48 hours after physician notifies the young woman's parent or legal guardian. To make matters worse, it mandates reporting requirements, including reports from physicians regarding abortions on minors, and it authorizes damages against physicians for violations.
It gets worse for young women in potentially abusive situations. In this case, the physician would be allowed to skip the notification only if an equivalent notice has been delivered ...
... to an adult family member designated by the unemancipated minor and has made a written report of known or suspected child abuse concerning to unemancipated minor to to the appropriate law enforcement or public child protective agency. Such report shall be based on a minor's written statement that she fears physical, sexual, or severe emotional abuse from a parent who would otherwise be notified and that her fear is based on a pattern of physical, sexual, or emotional abuse of her exhibited by a parent. The physician shall also include the minor's statement with his or her report and shall also retain a copy of the statement and the report in the minor's medical records. The physician shall also include with the notice a letter informing the adult family member that a report of known or suspected child abuse has been made concerning the minor and identifying the agency to which the report was made. The minor shall be informed that the notice and the letter will be delivered to the adult family member she has designated.
(proposed section 32(e))
A young woman facing the choice of an abortion is likely going through enough turmoil without having to ensnare her family into a child abuse investigation, especially if that family is dysfunctional.
The initiative-backers attempt to conceal their true intentions behind such terms as "medical emergency" or parental "waiver" (not attainable in many cases), and permitting courts to waive notice based on "clear and convincing evidence" of a young woman's maturity or best interests. But even the court proceedings are intimidating. The young woman
must appear personally in the proceedings in juvenile court.
Having to request permission from an older judge to get help is not what a young woman in distress needs. And it gets worse. Take a look:
Each court shall provide annually to the Judicial Council, in a manner to be prescribed by the Judicial Council to ensure confidentiality of the unemancipated minors filing petitions, a report of the number of petitions filed, the number of petitions granted ... deemed granted, .. or denied ... said reports to be publicly available ...
Why publicly available? So the wingnuts can try to intimidate and remove judges siding with young women who are seeking refuge in the courts.
There is also a provision for civil lawsuits of medical personnel and their assistants! It includes awarding of statutory damages of $10,000 by a parent "wrongfully denied notification" even if actual damages are much less. The proposed statue of limitation is four years afterthe young woman becomes an adult OR four years after a parent discovers a failure to comply whichever is later.
Who is behind Proposition Four?
As of September 27, 2008, the six largest donors to Prop. 4 are:
James Holman, $1,375,590. (Of this, $1.35 million is listed as a loan)
Don Sebastiani, $530,000
Knights of Columbus, $200,000
Life Legal Defense Foundation, $50,000 (who are these people?)
The Lenawee Trust, $100,000 (again, who are these people?)
The Caster Family Trust, $100,000 (who is Caster?)
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Ben Stein is also mentioned as a supporter on the pro Prop 4 web site (No, I will not link to it).
What You Can Do
Here are some ideas to help defeat Proposition 4. Please add more in the comments:
(2) Contact Assembly and State Senate candidates and request their support. Request their campaigns to distribute No On Prop 4 literature along with their own. (I spoke with mine today and she has already begun to include the No On Prop 4 message.)
(3) Encourage No On Prop 8/Equality for All to help defeat Prop 4, too. Request they get help the word out.
(4) Attend Obama-Biden rallies/meetings and inform them of this measure. You will meet many sympathetic people at these gatherings. Enlist their support. Ask them to help spread the word.
(5) Write Letters to the Editor. They still get read.
(6) Call sympathetic radio talk shows and get the word out.
(7) Bring this issue up at your local clubs/central committee meetings.
(8) Long-term starting now: Boycott Sebasitani wines.
- If anyone has Sebastiani brand wine, get together with friends who have some, videotape the wine being poured down the toilet and the bottles being smashed, then post the video on YouTube.
- Contact stores carrying Sebastiani wines and request them to remove the products.
- Contact everyone you know, in California and out, and have them join the boycott.
(9) For folks in the San Diego area, contact businesses that advertise in the San Diego Reader and request they pull their ads. Support those businesses that do. Boycott those that refuse.
(10) Also, look at starting another paper to compete with the San Diego Reader and siphon off their ad revenue.
We need to move out on this quickly. The first votes in this election will be cast in less than 10 days. The good news is a little bit of effort will go a long way to defeat this ugly measure.
Sebastiani Wines Brand Names and Contact Information
This news story mentions some brand names under which Sebastiani Wines are marketed. (Hat Tip to FoundingFatherDAR on DailyKos).
B Side Cabernet Sauvignons will be offered in very small lots at price points from $20 to $30 a bottle. The wine will be marketed through the Three Loose Screws division of Don & Sons. B Side distribution will be focused on upscale urban restaurants and key independent retailers.
Don Sebastiani & Sons is a family-owned wine negociant firm specializing in the marketing of upscale varietal wines. Principals Don Sebastiani and sons, Donny and August, are third and fourth generation California vintners and merchants. The company is headquartered in Sonoma Valley and has a winery in the Napa Valley. Don Sebastiani & Sons' fast-growing The Other Guys portfolio is currently expanding at an annual growth rate of 200%: the more established Three Loose Screws portfolio includes Impact Hot Brands Smoking Loon and Pepperwood Grove.
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Contact Sebastiani Wines. Let them know you are no longer buying their product ... and tell them why.
Don Sebastiani & Sons
Three Loose Screws Wine Co.
P.O. Box 1248
Sonoma, CA 95476
The Other Guys
485 First Street West
Sonoma, CA 95476