Elizabeth Daigneau is GOVERNING's managing editor.E-mail: email@example.com
In the debate over a ballot measure requiring parental notification for minors to get abortions, a California judge stated the obvious: "The courts have recognized that in ballot arguments, proponents are allowed to engage in hyperbole."
The context, however, makes that statement interesting. The judge ruled that hyperbole is acceptable even in the official ballot guides that are mailed to voters. From the Sacramento Bee :
To proponents of Proposition 4, Sarah's story is an emotionally powerful argument for requiring doctors to notify a parent or guardian before performing an abortion on a girl younger than 18.
Their ballot argument for the November parental notification initiative says, "Sarah was only 15 when she had a secret abortion." It tells of her death from a "deadly infection," asserting: "Had someone in her family known about the abortion, Sarah's life could have been saved."
On Friday, a Sacramento judge ruled that Sarah's story may remain on official ballot guides to be mailed to 13 million California voters - even though there is no "Sarah."
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