by Steven Ertelt
February 24, 2006
Honolulu, HI (LifeNews.com) — State representatives dropped an effort Thursday that could have resulted in allowing abortions up until the day of birth for any reason. The measure was intended to delete part of the state’s abortion law applying to unborn children who had not reached the point of viability.
But Rep. Blake Oshiro, vice chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, said the drafting of the bill made it so the state would authorize unlimited abortions.
"We don’t want to go down the road of dealing with partial-birth abortions," Oshiro said during a legislative hearing yesterday, according to an AP report. "That was a problem of drafting, and it was not the intent of this bill."
Oshiro said a revised version of the proposal would be given to legislators before the vote that won’t change the definition of abortion under state law.
According to AP, the intent of the measure is to bring Hawaii state law into conformity with Supreme Court decisions on abortion. It would allow "second term outpatient abortions" and remove requirements that anyone seeking an abortion in Hawaii be a state resident.
Because of the problematic language, groups on both side of the abortion debate showed up at the committee hearing on the bill.
Kelly Rosati, executive director of the Hawaii Catholic Conference, told AP, "I’m very alarmed that the bill would change Hawaii law to allow late-term abortions of viable fetuses at any time, for any reason, up until birth."
Rosati said she was pleased Oshiro was substituting new language preventing that from happening.
Still, pro-life advocates were concerned about the bill allowing women to get second-trimester abortions at private abortion businesses.
"I think we’re going to reduce a lot of the protection granted to women by expanding [where abortions can be performed]," Jackie Mishler, a nurse representing the Maui chapter of Hawaii Right to Life, told lawmakers.
The bill is HB 1242.
Related web sites:
Hawaii legislature – https://www.capitol.hawaii.gov