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Think Outside the "Bubble"

Tsoghig Hekimian,
Washington Legislative Office
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November 3, 2006

Hello from San Francisco. Shin and I have been on the ground for a couple of days now (after a night spent in Salt Lake City due to a missed flight) working to mobilize voters on Proposition 85. Like Measure 43 in Oregon, Prop 85 would mandate doctors to notify parents of teens seeking an abortion. The polls have this issue as being a toss-up, and we're hoping to turn out voters in the Bay Area to defeat this proposal.

I know many people balk at this measure and say parents would definitely want to know if their teenage daughter is pregnant and wants to have an abortion, but here's the kicker, most teens would already tell their parents! We don't need the state of California to enact a law that mandates communication between teens and their parents, most parents are caring and loving enough that the teen would go to them for help anyway! The problem lies when teens who have abusive parents, maybe they have been subject to sexual abuse by their own father, brother, uncle, cousin whatever and would fear harsh retribution if they were to talk to their parents about it. Indeed, the No on 85 campaign ad highlights this very fact that people need to think outside their "bubble."

Teens who are pregnant are already scared to death -- just imagine having a parent who grew up beating you, and then trying to tell that parent you are pregnant, how do you think they will react?

And, the so-called judicial bypass in the proposal isn't any better. Again, the campaign has made a great a glimpse into the future if 85 were to pass by creating a fictional "Jane's journey."

We've been working hard calling hundreds of ACLU members and activists in the San Francisco area to recruit them in our Get Out the Vote efforts and just like in Oregon, we have partnered with Planned Parenthood and NARAL. Last night we prepared thousands of door-hangers that will urge voters to vote no on prop 85 (along with their local polling location), and we're going to continue to do more of those today (we have at least 45,000 to do, AAAHHHH!!!). While we shouldn't name names (but we will), Justine Sarver, Nora Dye, Mary Lunetta and Shayna Gelender here at the ACLU of Northern California have been an inspiration in their commitment to the cause.

This weekend, we're going to put on our walking shoes and go door to door to mobilize San Francisco (which, according to one Laundromat's name, is "never called Frisco") voters to come out on Tuesday to defeat Prop 85. After all, as the literature says, "Vote No on Prop 85. It's about the safety of all of our daughters. And a whole lot more."

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