November 4, 2008 Ballot Prop. 4

Proposition 4: Parental Notification of Abortion

Official Results

Available once the California Secretary of State has certified the election. This can take up to 3 weeks or more.

Yes votes: 6,220,473 (48%)
No votes: 6,728,478 (52%)


Proposition 4, also known as "Sarah's Law," would amend the constitution to prohibit abortion for unemancipated girls until 48 hours after minor's parents or legal guardian has been notified. In cases where parental abuse has been reported, alternative family members could be notified instead. There are several exceptions to the law, including parental waivers, court waivers and cases of emergency where physicians need to act quickly to save the life of the minor. Proposition 4 is the third parental notification initiative to make the ballot in the last three years

Proposition 4

In 1953, state law was amended to allow minors to receive, without parental consent or notification, the same types of prenatal medical care available to an adult. Based on this law and later developments, minors were able to obtain abortions in California without parental consent or notification." In 1987, the state legislature amended the law to require that minors obtain parental consent before getting an abortion, but the amendment was challenged in court. Ten years later, in 1997, the California Supreme Court struck down the law on grounds that it violated the minor's constitutional right to privacy. 

Voter Information

Voter Information Guide

Campaign contributions database - Individual Committees (Secretary of State website)

Campaign contributions database - total (Secretary of State website) Select "Nov. 2008 election" and "Prop.4" in dropdown box.

Public Opinion Resources

Field Polls on Proposition 4 
November 3, 2008 
September 26, 2008

July 22, 2008 

Survey USA
October 17, 2008 

Public Policy Institute 
October 2008

Non-Partisan Resources


Pros & Cons (League of Women Voters) 
[Archived in Internet Archive]

Audio and Video

Center for Governmental Studies
Voter Minute

Pro/Con Statements