There's a lot of hypothetical talk coming from supporters of Proposition 73. But this is about forcing how youth must deal with this. Here are excerpts from what some youth think:
[Keisha (not her real name), 16]
Guys think that since youâ€™re a girl, you automatically know a lot about pregnancies and clinics, but I didnâ€™t know anything. I was 14 when I met my boyfriend and 15 when he got me pregnant. I didnâ€™t know that we were going to be intimate so soon, but I felt that we were really close, close enough for me to make the choice to let him take my virginity.
When I found out I was pregnant I was already 4 weeks along. We had unprotected sex once, and all it takes is one time. When I found out, I wasnâ€™t sad, scared or mad -- I just knew I had to handle it.
When I went to the clinic I was led into a small room with the nurse and a peer educator. We sat and talked about abortions, birth control and how to make better choices. I had to fill out papers about my medical history. When I was done with the paperwork the nurse made an appointment for me to have an abortion.
I was too scared to tell my mother, and I knew I wasnâ€™t ready to take care of a child.
My mother and I donâ€™t talk that much. She has a boyfriend sheâ€™s always concerned with, so I stay away from home as much as I can.
Me and my boyfriend were together for about a year at the time. When I told him I didnâ€™t think it was going to affect our relationship -- because we talked about how we would deal with the situation if I got pregnant -- his reactions were not what I had expected. Because we had talked about the possibility of pregnancy in the past I thought he would be sincere and caring -- it didnâ€™t work out like that. I felt like he didnâ€™t want to be with me anymore because all he could do was ignore the situation. I didnâ€™t get mad at him. He was scared just like me.
My girlfriend Jenay had an abortion and the baby was mine. I met her at John Muir Middle School in Oakland. We were both 14. She was 15 when she had an abortion....
She had the abortion because she didnâ€™t wanâ€™t her father to hate her. She didnâ€™t actually know if he really would have hated her, but they had some talks in the past and he told her she should wait to have sex and that he would be disappointed if she got pregnant. She would tell him she wasnâ€™t having sex when he asked her -- so she was stuck. He expected her to be truthful, maybe he might have hated her for lying to him and betraying his trust....
We werenâ€™t ready to be parents -- we talked and realized we had our whole lives ahead of us to plan for a baby. If Prop. 73 passes it will make it hard for young teenâ€™s out there having fun and getting in bad situations like getting pregnant or becoming a young baby daddy.
I donâ€™t think it would make a good law because young people are going to have sex regardless, so why make it hard for those who have messed up? This law will only lead to worse problems than having a baby, females might try to do homemade abortions if they are forced to tell their parents they are pregnant.
My friend, Smokey, had an abortion about two years ago when she was 17.
It was the summer before her senior year when she found out about her pregnancy. She was in shock for a good month -- thinking about what decision would be best for her. She finally decided to have an abortion. It was senior year. She was living with her parents, her three sisters, their four kids and one of their daddies. To her it was horrifying to think she would end up like one of her sisters.
She didn't want the baby and would do whatever was necessary to prevent it from happening. She decided to get an abortion, and now she is doing good. She's working two jobs in Berkeley trying to stack money for a new car and she attends community college working on transferring to a university.
Proposition 73 states that no minor will be able to get an abortion without the consent of a parent or guardian. If that law passes, people like my friend Smokey will not be able to make decisions about what will happen with their lives.
Some will have to confront their mothers and tell them. That could put their relationship with their families in jeopardy. Others will be too scared to tell their parents until it is too late and they have no other choice but to have the baby, putting their goals for the future away in a safe that may never be unlocked.
[Students at the Spanish Speaking Citizens Foundation Newcomer Program at Fremont High School in Oakland, these paragraphs were translated from Spanish.]
MIGUEL CERVANTES HUERTA, 17
I think young people who are going to have sex need to realize that if the young girl becomes pregnant, the young man needs to be responsible for the child so that they donâ€™t resort to abortion. And if theyâ€™re okay with getting an abortion they shouldnâ€™t have to tell their parents.
LILIANA ROJAS, 15
On one hand itâ€™s good -â€“ if she receive the support of her parents. But there are times when parents donâ€™t support and instead of helping they insult. This is why sometimes itâ€™s not convenient if the parents know. But it is also convenient if parents know so they can make sure the doctor is good because it(abortion) can be very dangerous and risky.
JESUS RODEA, 16
Itâ€™s good and bad. It has its advantages and disadvantages.
The advantages are:
-Household life continues as if nothing has happened
-She can feel at ease with knowing she didnâ€™t abandon someone in the world.
The disadvantages are:
-Her mother can kick her out of the house
-The whole world will know and start to gossip
FATIMA ROSIBEL MEJIA, 15
I think abortion is something people shouldnâ€™t practice. Because for God and the world, it is well known, that the children are not to blame for the irresponsible acts of the parents. I also feel that if they arenâ€™t going to take care of the kids, why are they going to have them?