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Governor says abortion access to continue in Hawaii

The Maui News

Gov. David Ige affirmed that women in Hawaii would continue to have access to abortion following a U.S. Supreme Court decision on Friday to overturn Roe v. Wade and end constitutional protections for abortions.

“Today’s extreme U.S. Supreme Court ruling is outrageous and a huge step backward for women’s rights. Despite the ruling, I can assure you that women in Hawaii will continue to have access to the healthcare they need, and that includes abortion,” Ige said in a statement on Friday. “Hawaii law already protects the right of individuals to make their own deeply personal reproductive health decisions, including the right to seek abortion care. I will do everything in my power to ensure that women retain control over their own reproductive choices.”

The ruling sparked demonstrations among abortion-rights and anti-abortion protesters in Washington and across the country as some states immediately began halting abortions.

Hawaii’s lawmakers and public officials sharply criticized the ruling and emphasized that access to abortion would continue throughout the state. A statement from 57 Democratic state legislators called the decision “deeply disturbing.”

“Abortion is still safe and legal in Hawaii, under our state law,” the legislators said. “Today’s ruling means we need to remain vigilant and continue to ensure that a woman’s right to reproductive health care is protected in Hawaii and access is provided to those who need it. Our sisters, daughters and granddaughters deserve to grow up in a country where they are afforded more rights, not less.”

Maui County Sens. Roz Baker, Lynn DeCoite and Gil Keith-Agaran, and Reps. Linda Clark, Troy Hashimoto, Angus McKelvey, Tina Wildberger and Kyle Yamashita signed on to the statement.

Dennis Jung, chairperson of the Democratic Party of Hawaii, said that the court’s ruling “will trigger laws in many states banning abortion and will open the door to a national abortion ban.”

“Hawaii voters must come together to defend our laws which guarantee a woman’s right to choose,” Jung said. “The Democratic Party of Hawaii will work with our legislators to expand access to reproductive healthcare throughout the state.”

A spokesperson for the Hawaii Republican Party could not be immediately reached for comment on Friday.

Hawaii’s all-Democratic congressional delegation also denounced the ruling, with Sen. Mazie Hirono vowing that Democrats in Congress would fight to expand access to free contraception, protect women’s health data and pass the Women’s Health Protection Act “to enshrine the right to abortion into federal law.”

“The Supreme Court was confronted with a fundamental question: who should have control over a woman’s body, a woman or a bunch of politicians,” Hirono said in a statement. “Today, the Supreme Court decided it should be a bunch of politicians. Their decision to overturn Roe will go down as one of the worst decisions in the history of the Court.”

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