I'm mostly trying to avoid posting about contentious political issues here at the moment, because I'm being even more conflict-averse than usual and am not up for a fight.
But I think this one's worth mentioning.
The California Secretary of State's 2005 Initiative Update page provides information on all the propositions that will appear on the ballot in the California special election next month.
Among those is Proposition 73 (warning: that link is to a PDF file): "Waiting Period and Parental Notification Before Termination of Minor's Pregnancy," a proposed amendment to the state constitution.
But I'm not going to argue one way or t'other about whether a waiting period and parental notification are good things. The part of the proposition that I think needs more attention is this, from the state Attorney General's official summary:
Defines abortion as causing “death of the unborn child, a child conceived but not yet born.”
That aspect of the proposition isn't mentioned in the micro-summary at the beginning of the voter pamphlet, and I don't think it's mentioned in the arguments for and against the proposition. But it seems to me that it's probably the most far-reaching part of the proposition. I could be wrong, but it leads me to suspect that this proposition isn't primarily about pregnant minors; I suspect it's primarily about defining a fetus as a child in the state constitution.
So I would recommend that people pay close attention to that clause when deciding which way to vote on this proposition.
For a lot more info about the proposition (including California's history with the issue of minors and notification, and a sort of comparison to other states), see the San Francisco Chronicle's coverage.
Note: Please don't use this entry's comments section as a forum to debate pro-choice vs pro-life views. If the proposition were titled "Definition of Abortion," I wouldn't be posting about it. I'm posting because I think an extremely important clause is being presented as something relatively minor, and I wanted to draw attention to that.
Point being, if y'all start posting inflammatory comments on either side of the abortion debate, I'll shut down comments on this entry. So please don't.