Is CHOC operating abortion buses to OUSD, as Madison Miner claimed?

No. CHOC is not running abortion buses to OUSD schools. There is no evidence of these buses, and CHOC denies the claim. Madison Miner’s claim is based on unspecified, second-hand reports. As shown below, Madison Miner is foreshadowing her plans to attack reproductive rights by trying to enact OUSD rules contrary to California law.

Did Madison Miner spread a false claim that CHOC is running abortion buses?

Below is the transcript of the relevant allegation by Madison Miner that CHOC is running abortion buses to OUSD high schools.

Madison Miner: The other donor to them [Yes on Recall] is Planned Parenthood. So Planned Parenthood is heavily backing the recall against me.”

Nicole Pearson: Why do you think that is?

Madison Miner: ‘Cuz I’ve made it very clear that I don’t agree with them taking away parental choice, parental involvement with their own students. We haven’t seen it first hand but we have many teachers and many students who have told our conservative majority about girls getting picked up in CHOC [Children’s Hospital of Orange County] buses from high schools around the area in Orange Unified and leaving campus for a couple of hours and coming back. All the signs of pregnancy were there before and then just signs of sadness were there after they returned. And so its unfortunate and it’s not a partnership that I think is [connection issues by Madison] It’s harming kids more than it’s helping them. If they were out there preaching about absistence and contraceptives soleley, I would be a less inclined to be antagonistic [connection isues by Madison] and our school children. I want to protect kids.

Nicole Pearson: I didn’t know about that. That’s horrible. That’s horrible. So OK, so I’m hearing encourage, so I’m hearing you guys obviosuly donate, go to….

Nicole Pearson Show, Episode 2, 42:50 to 44:46

Below is the video showing the Madison Miner claim of abortion buses run by CHOC.

What does CHOC have to say about the allegation that it is running abortion buses to OUSD?

While the allegation is admittedly unverified on its face, a screen capture has been circulating purporting to show CHOC Public Relations denying the allegation that it is running abortion buses.

The screenshot above was posted on Facebook by Bill Bower as having been received by his wife.

Is Planned Parenthood “heavily” backing the recall, as Madison Miner claimed?

No. Planned Parenthood is less than 1% of the total donations to Yes on Recall. Specifically, the only Planned Parenthood donation came from “Planned Parenthood of Orange and San Bernardino Counties Community Action Fund PAC” (listed as Community Action Fund of PPOSBC PAC) on September 22, 2023, in the amount of $2,500. Total donations to Yes on Recall as of January 25, 2024, were over $286,304.14 just for donors over $100. All of this information can be viewed on the Orange County Registrar of Voters website.

OUSD Facts Truth-o-Meter Rating: False

We rate Madison Miner’s claim that CHOC is running abortion buses to OUSD schools to be false. There is no support for this claim, which CHOC also denies.

We also rate Madison Miner’s claim that Planned Parenthood is “heavily” backing the recall as false and misleading. OUSD Facts counted 20 other individual donors who donated just as much, if not more, than Planned Parenthood, though none of these parents and community members are mentioned by Madison Miner. All of this information can be viewed on the Orange County Registrar of Voters website. Madison Miner is not the victim of a Planned Parenthood-led recall, as she is claiming.

Isn’t a student’s right to reproductive care a state issue?

Yes, state law currently governs whether students can attend medical appointments during the school day.

Education Code § 46010.1 provides for annual parental notification “that school authorities may excuse any pupil from the school for the purpose of obtaining confidential medical services without the consent of the pupil’s parent or guardian.”

Indeed, Family Code § 6925(a) provides that: “A minor may consent to medical care related to the prevention or treatment of pregnancy.”

In 2004, the California Attorney General issued an opinion “conclud[ing] that a school district may not adopt a policy pursuant to which the school will notify a parent when a student leaves school to receive confidential medical services.” Opinion No. 04-112, 87 Ops.Cal.Atty.Gen. 168 (2004). The opinion explained that:

Not only may minors seek sensitive medical treatment without parental consent, they have the right to keep the existence of such medical services confidential, even from their parents. (Health & Saf. Code, § 123115, subd. (a)(1); Civ. Code, § 56.11, subd. (c); see Health & Saf. Code, § 123110, subd. (a); Civ. Code, § 56.10.) These confidentiality statutes evince a clear legislative intent to shield minors, not just from the possibility that parental consent might be withheld for certain medical services, but also from the necessity of revealing that the minor has resorted to those services at all.

Statutes protecting the privacy of medical information are based on the Legislature’s awareness that the threat of disclosure might deter persons needing treatment from seeking it. (See In re Lifschutz (1970) 2 Cal.3d 415, 431; Pettus v. Cole (1996) 49 Cal.App.4th 402, 433-434; Simek v. Superior Court (1981) 117 Cal.App.3d 169, 177.) A policy that requires parental notice when a student seeks such services would be inconsistent with the legislative intent to encourage minors to receive medical treatment by protecting the confidentiality of their medical information. …

Nor is our conclusion inconsistent with statutes giving parents access to certain information bearing on their children’s education, including access to their children’s school records. (Ed. Code, §§ 49061; 51101, subd. (a)(10).)5 While providing parental access to this information, the Legislature has protected students’ rights to informational privacy, specifically regarding confidential medical services (e.g., Ed. Code, § 49091.12, subd. (b)) and disclosure of personal information to school counselors (Ed. Code, § 49602).

California Attorney General Opinion No. 04-112, 87 Ops.Cal.Atty.Gen. 168 (2004).

Didn’t anti-abortion advocates already lose on this issue on Prop. 85?

Yes. In 2006, California voters rejected Proposition 85, entitled “Parental Notification of Abortion Initiative.”

So why is Madison Miner talking about abortion rights if OUSD can’t change state law?

Madison Miner has explained that she hopes to change OUSD regulations to provide for parental notification if a child is seeking medical care related to reproductive health. She hopes to use OUSD funds to pay for lawyers to defend OUSD’s position in the courts following an almost certain challenge by proponents of reproductive freedom. Further, at the OUSD Board meeting on June 20, 2023, Trustees Angie Rumsey and Rick Ledesma both stated they would be willing to violate any laws which they do not agree. Whether parents like it not, the change in the laws would almost certainly need to come at the state level, not within OUSD.