Chair Karamatsu, Vice Chair Ito, and committee members,
The League of Women Voters of Hawaii supports HB 423 H.D. 1.
A woman has a right to protect herself against an unwanted pregnancy resulting from a sex assault. Although this bill as amended and does not offer across the board protection for all women in Hawaii it will go a long way to increasing the current information on emergency contraceptives.
The sooner emergency contraception is administered after an attack, the better the chance of preventing an unintended pregnancy. Therefore any hospital exempting itself from this compassionate practice must have speedy, efficient services in place to relocate the sex assault victim. We also need assurance that she has received all available information on treatment options for her health and well being.
A pregnancy resulting from rape is not planned. A pregnancy resulting from rape is forced. Denying or delaying victims the necessary information to make sound medical decisions regarding their reproductive health only furthers the violation of rape. Left untreated sex assault can lead to significant long term mental health problems as well.
Please show compassion for the women and girls in our community subjected to this heinous crime and pass HB 423.