In a special statewide election today, Californians will vote on a controversial amendment that has the support of Christians who are fighting to preserve the parents' role of protecting their children.
Proposition 73 would amend the state Constitution by requiring doctors to notify a parent or guardian of a minor within 48 hours of the procedure. The doctors are also required to report every abortion they perform to the government or they would be sued for damages.
Supporters of the amendment said that most clinics don’t report the number of abortions that they perform each day, and a study shows that minors are impregnated by men of about 22 years of age.
Another part of the amendment they support is the 48 hours allotted to the parents in order to counsel their daughters, or find the proper medical care if the daughter chooses to go through with the abortion.
The argument that the opponents are using is that minors, who are unable to speak to their parents are in danger since they will try to find other ways to end their pregnancy themselves.
In addition, the wording that was included into the amendment has opponents worrying about the backlash it may have on future abortion cases.
According to the state's Health and Safety Code abortion is defined as "any medical treatment intended to induce the termination of a pregnancy except for the purpose of producing a live birth."
The new amendment defines abortion as an "unborn child, a child conceived but not born."
In a recent Times Poll, among those likely to vote in California, 51% said they would vote yes on Prop. 73, 39% said no, and 10% said that they were unsure.
While a Field Poll, according to the San Francisco Chronicle, found that 41% said they would vote yes, 49% said they would vote no, and the rest were undecided.
Gary Marx, former director of Virginia Christian Coalition and a key player in rallying evangelical support for President Bush's re-election said to the Los Angeles Times "The message of Proposition 73 is common sense, pro-parent and easy to communicate."
He added, "We've been extremely encouraged by the response that people of faith have shown."
Some Christians that have shown their support and have spoken out for church participation are the Great Commission Center International’s Rev. Thomas Wang, the President of American Chinese Evangelical Seminary Prof. Lawrence Chan, Senior Pastor of Peninsula Chinese Alliance Church Rev. Luke Poon, and Chairman of Support Traditional Marriages Dr. Bill Tam.
Rev. Wang said that the responsibility of the parents are to protect their children and be a model for them, while loving and trusting them with faith.
"When you have children you know you can give them the liberty to make certain decisions. Give them the benefit of the doubt, and they can learn from it," but for other decisions that have no "second chances," parents will not let their children decide "on serious matters like abortion," he said at a press conference rallying support for Prop. 73 on Oct. 18.