Hawaii abortion guide created in hopes of bridging gap in resources
HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Even though state law protects abortions in Hawaii, organizations have found that resources can be difficult to get in parts of the state.
A newly produced guide hopes to change that.
Lawmakers, nonprofits, and volunteers saw confusion after Roe vs. Wade was overturned by the U.S. Supreme Court.
The newly formed Hawaii Abortion Collective came up with a comprehensive guide explaining the legal status of abortions in Hawaii and where to get information and financial help.
“There has not been a widely known centralized source of information about abortion in Hawaii,” said Alani Bagcal, an organizer for AFI3RM Hawaii. “This information can be really hard to find, and really difficult to interpret.”
The group of lawmakers, nonprofits, and religious leaders want to reinforce the message that abortion is legal and safe in the islands and people shouldn’t go through the process alone.
“There has been a loud message throughout our nation that you cannot be a Christian and support abortion,” said Reverend Malia Galindo, with the Disciples of Christ. “And I’m here to tell you that that is wrong.”
They say many women have felt very isolated and unsupported as they face difficult reproductive health care decisions.
“The truth is I was going through my first abortion, and it only ended about a week ago,” said Khara Jabola-Carolus. “And I hate to admit it as the executive director of the Women’s Commission for the state, but I needed to use the abortion guide and I would have been lost without it and without all of you.”
Jabola-Carolus is the executive director for the Hawaii State Commission on the Status of Women. She decided to speak about the abortion she had publicly for the first time Wednesday.
“I want women to feel like they’re not alone,” she said.
“And that’s really it. You’re not alone. There are so many of us who love you, who have been through this process alone and felt so sad, not because the abortion itself was wrong or a bad decision, but because no one was supporting us. And no one should have to be alone during one of the most profound and vulnerable moments of their entire life.”
“My district is one of the most rural and remote areas of our entire state,” said state Rep. Jeanne Kapela, representing District 5 on the Big Island.
“A majority of those seeking abortion care are young socio-economically disadvantaged women of color. Many neighbor island communities, like my home, are stricken with financial distress and are missing the essential health infrastructure available in urban Honolulu.”
“Hopefully, this abortion guide being launched today will begin to rectify the gaps in our continuum of care for our sister Island residents in need in need of abortion services,” said Kapela.
For more information and access to the comprehensive guide, click here.
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