New Hawaii Law Provides Abortion Access, Provider Protection

Almost a year since the U.S. Supreme Court overturned the landmark 1973 Roe v. Wade ruling, Hawaii officially signed into law new expansions to abortion access and protection.

In March, Hawaii Governor Josh Green signed SB 1 into passage which will strengthen the protections and rights of pregnant individuals’ access to abortion care.

“Hawaii will continue to be a beacon,” said Sen. Joy San Buenaventura, chairperson of the Senate Health and Human Services Committee, during the bill-signing ceremony. “Physicians need only think about their patients and need not have to worry about prosecutions or extradition.”

The bill allows physician assistants to perform medical and surgical abortions during the first trimester of pregnancy. Previously, only doctors and advanced practice registered nurses could perform the procedure in Hawaii. Moreover, the bill also allows minors to get abortions without parental or guardian consent.

“We’re proud of all the hard work our representatives put in this session to pass SB 1 and further protect access to abortion in Hawaii,” said Jen Wilbur, Hawaii State Director for Planned Parenthood Alliance Advocates.

“This session, the Hawai‘i State Legislature sent a clear message that we will protect our health care providers and anyone who seeks or supports others in obtaining abortion in Hawai‘i. As attacks against reproductive health ramp up across the country, it could not have come at a more crucial time and our lawmakers stepped up when we needed them most.”

Some states that have restricted abortion have expressed that they might prosecute people in connection with abortions performed in other states.

To protect Hawaii, SB 1 codifies into law the executive order signed by then-Gov. David Ige to stop other states from prosecuting local doctors and nurses who provide abortions to out-of-state temporary residents in Hawaii.

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