Doctors expect more women to fly to Hawaii for abortions following Supreme Court ruling

The U.S. Supreme Court has stripped away the nation's constitutional protections for abortion that had stood for nearly a half a century.
Published: Jun. 24, 2022 at 11:36 AM HST|Updated: Jun. 24, 2022 at 1:14 PM HST
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HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Doctors who provide women’s health care say they expect more women to fly to Hawaii seeking abortions following the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision Friday to overturn Roe v. Wade.

Obstetrician-gynecologists say it’s already happening.

In a previous interview with Hawaii News Now, Oahu OB-GYNs Dr. Bliss Kaneshiro and Dr. Divya Dethier said their clinic sees about five out-of-state abortions per month and they expect that to rise.

“Expecting that there would be a surge in patients who would come to us knowing that we are state that would protect the right to an abortion,” Dethier said.

Physicians say the decision means half of America could ban or restrict abortions, so more women seeking them would travel to blue states.

“Even though Hawaii is an ocean away from the continent, we’ve already seen patients from Texas travel to Hawaii,” Kaneshiro said. “We see some of them every month in our offices.”

Hawaii doctors already see several patients from Guam, which has conservative policies on abortion.

Guam already prohibits abortion after 13 weeks of pregnancy. And as of 2018, there are no abortion providers in Guam — and those seeking abortions have to receive services via telemedicine.

But with Friday’s decision, it’s likely the island will pass a total abortion ban, according to the Center for Reproductive Rights.

Guam residents could fly to Asia for abortions, but that would require a passport. Hawaii would likely be an easier option.

Meanwhile, under Hawaii law, the state “shall not deny or interfere with a female’s right to choose or obtain an abortion of a nonviable fetus or an abortion that is necessary to protect the life or health of the female.”

Gov. David Ige on Friday vowed to protect abortion rights in Hawaii.

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