Monday, July 03, 2006

ALERT! SB-2166 HD3

We need to alert you again about SB-2166 HD3, a horrible bill that includes an abortion clause that's still waiting for our Governor's veto. If the Governor doesn't veto it by July 11, this disgusting bill becomes law in Hawaii . The Governor's information is at the bottom of the page.

Some in the Christian community have said that this bill helps homeless minors by expanding services so it's not so bad. Honestly, if the bill paved the streets of Hawaii with gold but allows a proviso that makes abortion accessible to minor girls as young as 14 then it's a bad bill and must be defeated. We're asking you to contact the Governor by phone, fax and e-mail to express your concerns with the bill and politely asking her to veto it immediately.

We understand under current Federal law that abortions can be performed on minors (of any age) in Hawaii without parental involvement. We also believe that one day, possibly soon, that same Federal law will be overturned. The people of Hawaii have not had the opportunity to decide for themselves what the States position on abortion should be since 1970, and to allow bills like SB-2166 to go into effect now supersedes the true will of the people.

If the bills intent was to help minor homeless children in Hawaii with proper medical care we would support this wholeheartedly. But we have grave concerns with regard to adding abortion for minors and allowing medical care by anyone other than a licensed physician, especially without parental involvement.

Our concerns are these:

1. All minors ages 14-17 are required by current state law to be under the care of a legal guardian. If I, as a citizen of Hawaii know of a minor without supervision, this is illegal and I am obligated to call the police or CPS and a guardian will be appointed for that minor.

2. SB-2166 allows minors to consent to certain medical procedures. Abortion is a medical procedure. Absent statutory allowance, minors cannot consent to a medical procedure. Chapter 577A defines a minor as anyone from age 14 to 17, inclusive. Therefore, the current state of law is that you have to be older than 17 in order to consent to an abortion. This is a good, common sense law. How can the state allow 14 year olds to decide what medical care they need? A 14-year-old little homeless girl, living on the street without any adult supervision (except other street people like herself) is not going to make healthy decisions. If she is under the influence of an older predator or pimp, this bill removes the evidence of what's being done to her.

3. On one hand - if the minor is not under the care of an adult, this needs to be reported to CPS and a legal guardian will be appointed for them. On the other hand, if the minor has a parent, this bill allows the practitioner to decide what is practical and what is not. Section 1-(3) states "The minor is not under the care, supervision, or control of a parent, custodian, or legal guardian, or obtaining appropriate legal consent is not practical." This gives the practitioner the ability to decide not to call the parent. To us, this presents serious legal problems.

4. If SB-2166 is signed by the Governor the current Hawaii law would permit an ambiguity with regard to allowing other than a licensed physician to possibly perform an abortion as it says in HRS 453-2, " The direction and control shall not be construed in every case to require the personal presence of the supervising and controlling physician ."

5. Allowing the health care practitioner immunity from any civil or criminal liability goes beyond the pale. How could anyone consider that to be in the best interests of the minor child? This amendment alone demands the Governor veto this awful bill.

6. Several states, including Alaska, Michigan, Indiana, Ohio, Florida and California, have been or are involved in current court battles over rape cover ups between state Attorney General's and doctors or clinics who refuse to turn over medical records of teens to courts - even when the patient requests it - stating that medical records are confidential and there has been no wrongdoing. In nearly all those cases, courts ruled in favor of keeping records confidential. This bill would make it harder to prosecute sexual predators of minor girls. Hawaii already has privacy laws in place that make law enforcement jump through extreme hoops to get medical records. This bill presents more problems for the Criminal Division of the AG's office.

7. Abortion and its aftereffects cannot be undone. Often there are negative physiological results, including infertility. Certainly the unborn child is lost forever. Even with regard to the subject of "post-abortion syndrome," whether immediate or delayed, a prolonged psychological response is almost certain in most every case. If homeless children are living here in Hawaii without their parents then these children would obviously need extra special care and attention. As they got older and realized the full ramifications of killing the baby within their womb and owning up to the eventual responsibility of that act it could send them into deep depression and suicidal thoughts and behavior. It could also cause them to become irrationally violent to the point of acting out their behavior on other innocent loved ones and bystanders.

We were led to believe that this bill was introduced to make conditions better for these children. We do not see that in its final form. Therefore, we believe the bill was actually introduced to allow abortions AND to allow them by only a registered health care practitioner under HRS chapters 453 and 457 instead of a licensed physician.

We do not see any true benefit to the child this was supposedly written for and ask that you please request the Governor to veto this bill.

Hawaii Right to Life is a non-profit, pro-life education and civil rights organization nearly 50,000 strong in Hawaii dedicated to the concept that every American has an inalienable right to life, a right that is precious and must be protected.

Here is the Governor's phone & fax information:
Phone: 808-586-0034
Fax: 808-586-0006
From the Governor's Website:
I want to know what you think, so please e-mail me your questions and comments at Governor.Lingle@hawaii.gov .
By working together, we can make Hawaii an even better place to live, work and raise a family.
Mahalo Nui Loa,
Linda Lingle, Governor

In the Cause for Life,
John Calvin Long, Executive Director
Hawaii Right to Life

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