The signature gathering campaign to qualify the Californians for Parental Rights’ Parental Notification Constitutional Amendment did not succeed in obtaining the required 807,615 valid signatures necessary to qualify for the November 2012 ballot, it was announced late last week.Consequently, Californians for Parental Rights, the organization sponsoring the proposed initiative, did not submit signatures to the respective county registrars of voters on April 30 --- the end of the 150-day signature gathering time that began Nov. 30, 2011. 

In a statement, CPR expressed its gratitude to “all those who volunteered and contributed to the attempt to qualify the initiative,” and promised that “the campaign to protect Californian minor children from secret abortions will continue.”

Auxiliary Bishop Gerald Wilkerson of Los Angeles, president of the California Catholic Conference, said that the state’s bishops offered their “sincere thanks for all the work and dedication that went into this effort to protect children and affirm parental responsibility.”

He pointed out that, earlier this year, “we bishops took the opportunity presented by the unusual presentation of two proposed ballot initiatives, which bookended life issues on abortion and capital punishment as addressed in Catholic teaching. We endorsed efforts in our parishes to gather signatures for both initiatives.”

The SAFE initiative to replace the death penalty with life in prison without possibility of parole did qualify for the ballot. “Unfortunately,” he said, “the Parental Notification Initiative did not make the ballot this time.”

Bishop Wilkerson said “a significant majority” of the signatures for the PNI were collected by dedicated volunteers in Catholic parishes — who also collected 100,000 signatures for the SAFE initiative, which will be on the November ballot.

“We trust that this experience was spiritually fruitful, even though, when all was said and done, only one of the initiatives became politically viable,” he said. “Such citizen efforts can offer unique teaching moments about the intersection of public policy and Catholic teaching.”

Three statewide ballot propositions to require parental notification before a minor's abortion have previously been rejected by voters: Proposition 73 (2005), Proposition 85 (2006) and Proposition 4 (2008).