Tuesday, July 10, 2007

2007 Legislation Session - Past

The 2007-2008 Legislative session started with a bang for Hawaii Right to Life. We weighed in on 10 bills. The bill attracting the most attention from media and public was House Bill 675 which would have legalized Physician Assisted Suicide (PAS) .The battle was long, but by God’s Grace, the bill was held in committee. There is always the possibility of its being revived again during the upcoming January session.

The following are bills which we supported and that passed Second Reading and were assigned to a committee. No committee hearings were scheduled but the bills remain “alive” for the next session in January.

HB 731 – Crimes Against a Viable Fetus (a Laci Peterson law); HB 786 / SB 205 / SB 1904 – Abortion: Parental Notification; HB 787 & SB 129 – Prohibition of Partial-Birth Abortion; HB 788 – Abortion: Parental Consent.

HB 731 will need your help in urging a hearing for the bill in the House Health and Judiciary committees next year. This bill would add protection for a viable unborn baby who is injured or killed by an attack on the mother. Offenses could include charges of murder, manslaughter, or negligent injury. The seemingly inexplicable opposition to such bills rests on premise that it would recognize that the “something” in the mother’s womb is a “person” in the eyes of the law. They suspect that it would be the “slippery slope” for overturning Roe v. Wade.

HB 1830 – Safe Haven – passed the legislature and is before the Governor. It would provide immunity from prosecution for persons who leave an unharmed newborn at a hospital, fire station, or police station within 72 hours of the child’s birth. She is considering vetoing the bill because it “allows anyone to leave an infant without regard to legal possession or related to the infant and having no genealogical or medical information about the child.” There are no provisions for protecting the rights of both parents or extended family such as grandparents. Governor Lingle is concerned that “the infant would be placed at a disadvantage regarding eligibility for blood-quantum programs.

A seeming contradiction was our support for SB 1421 on the licensing of osteopathic doctors. While adding such doctors to the list of those who can perform abortions, the bill retains the restrictions on aborting “viable fetuses” and reaffirms the “conscience clause” that prevents doctors or hospitals from being forced to perform abortions.

Among the bills which we opposed were: HB 364 – Human Stem Cell Research; HB 455 / SB 1111 – Family Planning, Contraception, Health Education; HB 456 Relating to Emergency OTC Contraception (morning-after pills for Medicaid patients); HB 464 / SB 1114 – Sexual Health Education (aimed at abstinence ed); HB 466 / SB 1110 – Emergency Contraception; HB 675 – Death with Dignity; SB 800 – Death with Dignity; SB 1261 – Human Stem Cell Research; SB 1995 – Death with Dignity. These bills are still “alive” and waiting for hearings in the 2008 session.

If you would like to receive e-mail alerts regarding action on these bills, please send us your e-mail address. Send to hrtlprolife@yahoo.com. During the session, we will let you know what legislators to contact to request their support or opposition during hearings or floor action.

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