The governor of Hawaii signed a new executive order this week making the Aloha State the latest to announce its intention to allow abortion procedures in the state despite other states imposing more restrictive access.
The order, signed by Governor David Ige (D) on Tuesday, prevents other states from inflicting their more restrictive abortion laws on people who receive reproductive care in the state of Hawaii.
The governor held a news conference upon signing the bill, during which he told reporters, “We will not cooperate with any other state that tries to prosecute women who receive abortions in Hawaii. And we will not cooperate with any other state that tries to sanction medical professionals who provide abortions in Hawaii.”
The executive order, which goes into immediate effect, means “departments and agencies under [the governor’s] authority shall not provide any information, including medical records, data, or billing, to another state seeking to impose penalties upon a person or entity related to reproductive health services in Hawaiʻi.”
Currently, Hawaii allows abortions until the fetus is considered viable, which experts typically agree is about 23 to 24 weeks into the pregnancy.
The order protects medical professionals from facing a penalty for performing any reproductive care or procedures within the state “so long as the services provided would have been lawful and consistent with standards for good professional practice.”
A Hawaiian OB/GYN, Dr. Reni Soon, said in a press release, “Abortion is healthcare. Major medical and public health organizations have stated this because it’s been shown time and again, that when access to abortion is denied, people and communities are harmed.“
Soon continued, “Those of us who are in Hawaii’s communities every day providing compassionate and evidence-based abortion and abortion-related care thank Governor Ige and his administration for supporting us and standing with us.”
Hawaii joins Nevada, New Mexico, Colorado, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, and Rhode Island, which have all enacted similar policies protecting abortion access.
ARTICLE: LAURA SPIVAK
MANAGING EDITOR: CARSON CHOATE
PHOTO CREDITS: CNN
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