Bill Would Secure Access to Emergency Contraception

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It’s been forty years since the Supreme Court decision of Roe v. Wade legalized abortion in the United States.

But a woman's right to choose is still up for debate.

A bill is being brought before Hawaii’s legislature today that could determine hospital protocol when it comes to sexual assault victims.

The Compassionate Care Bill would stop hospitals in Hawaii from denying sexual assault survivors information about what is called Emergency Contraception. And it would insure access to that care if it is needed and wanted.

Katie Polidoro of Plannned Parenthood of Hawaii is doing everything she can to make sure it passes this year.

Polidoro says a 2010 survey of local hospitals found that most did not have a clear policy about Emergency contraception in cases of sexual assault.

Currently, the decision is often left to the physician...and not to the individual.

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A public hearing on the Compassionate Care Bill will take place today at 1:15 in Conference Room 229 at the State Capitol building.

Full audio available here:

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(Molly Solomon / HPR News)