The current campaign on behalf of Sarah’s Law—Proposition 4, a revised pro-life parental involvement initiative on the California ballot in November—may have removed one of the unfair advantages enjoyed by the pro-abortion side in previous parental notification battles.
Dr. John Smith of The Universtity of California, Davis, has written a pointed and well-documented letter, dated July 8th, 2008, to James E. Holst, General Counsel of the Regents of the University, complaining of the illegal involvement of the Bixby Center for Reproductive Health Research and Policy at UCSF in previous campaigns against parental involvement laws.
Case law cited by Dr. Smith demonstrates that the use of public funds to take sides in a campaign for or against any proposition is manifestly improper. Mines v. Del Valle (1927) 201 Cal.273; Stanson v. Mott (1976) 17 Cal.3d 206.
Facts cited by Dr. Smith demonstrate further that the Bixby Center has twice issued a pamphlet opposing enactment of parental notification propositions—once in 2005 (Proposition 73) and once in 2006 (Proposition 85).
The pamphlet issued by the Bixby Center—in slightly different editions—uses one-sided arguments and outright falsifications of data to defend California’s unconscionable status quo of secret abortions on minors.
So Dr. Smith requests an investigation into the misuse of public funds by the Bixby Center—as well as action to restrain the publication in the context of the current campaign.
While most people have probably never heard of the Bixby Center, the influence of its publications should not be underestimated.
Functionaries in the mass media rely on such ill-conceived publications to lend a veneer of objectivity to their irrational biases on campaigns.
If there’s any justice in the world—and if the case law cited by Dr. Smith is brought to bear—this influence could be restrained in 2008, and the campaign of lies against Proposition 4 could suffer as a result.
Considering the counter-campaigns against Propositions 73 and 85, any change—and especially the change sought by Dr. Smith—is bound to be an improvement.