A Collaboration with the University of Pittsburgh

Abortion restrictions fail in California, South Dakota

[JURIST] Voters in California and South Dakota Tuesday rejected ballot measures that would restrict access to abortion [JURIST news archive], In California, Proposition 4 [text and materials] would have amended the state constitution to require that a physician notify a parent or legal guardian of an unemancipated minor who has sought an abortion and wait 48 hours before performing the procedure. The amendment contained narrow exceptions, including waiver by a court based on clear and convincing evidence of the minor's maturity or best interests. As of noon EST Wednesday, the unofficial results [text] for Proposition 4 (with 24,360 of 25,423 polls reporting) were:

Yes – 4,594,086 – 47.6% percent
No – 5,041,647 – 52.4% percent

Similar proposals have failed twice previously in California. The San Francisco Chronicle has more.

With all polls reporting in South Dakota, unofficial results [text] showed that voters there defeated Initiated Measure 11 [PDF text] 55 percent to 45 percent. The proposed law, which would have prohibited abortion except in cases of rape, incest and "substantial and irreversible risk" to a woman's health, was viewed as a vehicle to challenge US Supreme Court decisions in Roe v. Wade and subsequent cases. South Dakota legislators last year rejected [JURIST report] a similar bill after a 2006 initiative that did not contain any exceptions failed. From Sioux Falls, the Argus Leader has more.

While not addressing abortion specifically, a Colorado initiative [Amendment 48 text and materials; unofficial results] amending the state constitution to define "person" to include "any human being from the moment of fertilization" also failed by a wide margin Tuesday.

About Paper Chase

Paper Chase is JURIST's real-time legal news service, powered by a team of 30 law student reporters and editors led by law professor Bernard Hibbitts at the University of Pittsburgh School of Law. As an educational service, Paper Chase is dedicated to presenting important legal news and materials rapidly, objectively and intelligibly in an accessible format.

© Copyright JURIST Legal News and Research Services, Inc., 2013.