by Steven Ertelt
March 8, 2006
Honolulu, HI (LifeNews.com) — The Hawaii state House has approved a measure that would promote abortions in the Aloha State. The measure removes residency rules requiring that abortions only be performed on state residents and allows private abortion businesses to join hospitals in performing abortions.
Backers of the measure say the bill is only intended to bring Hawaii into line with Roe v. Wade by updating a state law approved in 1970 to limit abortions. They said the residency requirement was already declared unconstitutional and that some private doctors offices already perform abortions.
But opponents of the bill call the law a huge expansion of abortion in the island state and could lead to unsafe abortions.
"This is not a mild expansion of abortion," said Rep. Bud Stonebraker, a Republican, told the Honolulu Star Bulletin newspaper. "This is one of the most significant pieces of legislation to promote abortion that we’ve had in recent history."
The House approved the measure on a 38-13 vote with seven Democrats and six Republicans voting against the measure. HB 1242 now heads to the state Senate for consideration.
Human Services Chairman Alex Sonson, a Democrat, voted against the measure and questioned whether it was necessary.
"I think the laws that we have are sufficient to serve the needs of those that want to have abortions," he said, according to the Honolulu newspaper. "We should keep it there unless there is a proven need."
Pro-life groups also opposed the legislation.
"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 measure was changed from one that was initially drafted to allow virtually all abortions up until the day of birth.
Kelly Rosati, executive director of the Hawaii Catholic Conference, told AP at the time, "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."
Related web sites:
Hawaii legislature – https://www.capitol.hawaii.gov