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U.S. Rep. Jill Tokuda attends state abortion protection bill hearing

Cory Lum/Civil Beat

The widely debated state abortion bill passed its final committee hearing in the Senate on Wednesday, with major advocates such as U.S. Rep. Jill Tokuda in attendance.

Senate Bill 1 seeks to codify an existing state order that protects doctors who perform abortions in Hawaiʻi from legal repercussions for giving care to out-of-state patients.

The bill would also allow minors to get the procedure without parental consent, physician associates to give medication or aspiration abortions, and would require the governor to deny any outside legal demand for a person charged with a crime involving reproductive health in Hawaiʻi.

Tokuda came to the hearing at the State Capitol to provide testimony in support of the measure on Wednesday.

"When the Dobbs decision was leaked, I happened to be in D.C. and just like so many of you, I found myself angered, sad, just completely upset and outraged that my nieces would have less rights than their grandmother — who would have thought for all that we worked on, decades ago we would find ourselves in this positions just trying to justify our existence as women to not be treated as second-class citizens," Tokuda said.

She explained that she attended the hearing to make sure that young women could grow up knowing that they had the right to an abortion.

"They have a right of equal protection under the law to access reproductive health services, that is so critical. So thank you for taking the step today," Tokuda said.

While not physically present at the hearing, several organizations did submit written testimony against the bill.

One organization, the Hawaiʻi Family Forum, stated that the bill could benefit traffickers and put women at risk for health complications.

SB 1 passed its joint hearing with the Judiciary committee and will now move to the full House of Representatives.

Zoe Dym was a news producer at Hawaiʻi Public Radio.
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