22 Mar 2006

Hawaii debates abortion law change

4:11 pm on 22 March 2006

The legislature in Hawaii is preparing a bill to update the abortion law.

Representative Blake Oshiro, who is the vice chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, says the state attorney general says the law has two sections that are now unconstitutional.

The House Bill 1242 will drop a 90-day residency requirement, and allow for abortions to be performed in places other than a hospital.

And he says supporters of the bill fear two high court judges may change a landmark ruling that gave women the right to an abortion in 1973.

"When we look at our current supreme court's make up, the recently appointed judges, there is a fear that the right to an abortion as deemed through the Roe vs Wade case could be overturned so for that reason they want to make sure the statute is updated and reflects current practices."

Hawaii Representative Blake Oshiro.

But opponents of the bill say it could risk the safety of an expectant mother by allowing abortions to be performed outside of a hospital.