Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger (courtesy: Sacramento Bee)
Addressing a California ballot initiative, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger said he would “kill” anyone who took one of his daughters to have an abortion without notifying him.
“I have a daughter,” Schwarzenegger said in an interview with the Sacramento Bee. “I wouldn’t want to have someone take my daughter to a hospital for an abortion or something and not tell me. I would kill him if they do that.”
The Republican governor, who has two teenage daughters and two preteen sons, was responding Tuesday to Proposition 73, an initiative that would make most abortions for minors illegal without prior notification of the girls’ parents or guardians.
Schwarzenegger, a supporter of abortion rights, clarified that he did not literally mean he would kill someone, but he left no doubt as to how strongly he feels about the issue.
“It will be the ultimate of being outraged about it and angry about it,” he told the Sacramento paper.
“They call me when my daughter falls off the jungle gym in the school and they say, ‘What do you want us to use? Can we put a Band-Aid on it? Do you want to come in? She’s crying a little bit.’
“They call us about everything. I don’t want them in that particular incident not to call us.”
If one of his daughters sought an abortion on her own, he said, “then I would deal with that also.”
Specifically, the initiative would make an abortion provider subject to civil penalties for performing an abortion on a minor without notification of a parent at least 48 hours in advance.
A pregnant girl, however, would have the right to petition a juvenile court judge to waive the notification requirement.
Schwarzenegger said he’s not sure whether he’ll endorse the measure on the special election ballot Nov. 8, explaining he already is pushing four initiatives and may not want to divert attention from those.
Backers of the parental notification measure argue that the measure would protect a fundamental parental right.
“In California, a young girl under the age of 18 can’t get a flu shot or an aspirin from the school nurse without a parent being notified,” Paul Laubacher, a Sacramento nurse and the official ballot proponent of the Proposition 73 initiative, told the Bee. “But a doctor can perform an abortion without notifying a parent or guardian.”
Opponents argue it could further endanger young girls who are victims of sexual abuse or family violence. The requirement to seek a judge, they say, would traumatize already confused and frightened girls.