Supreme Court rules in favor of pro-life groups; The decision may apply to Hawaii laws

Updated: Jun. 26, 2018 at 6:43 PM HST
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HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - On the same day the U.S. Supreme Court upheld the Trump Administration's travel ban, it delivered another legal setback for Hawaii.

The high court barred states from requiring pro-life pregnancy centers to provide information about the availability of abortion services, saying that's a violation of their free speech rights.

The ruling involved California's law but will likely apply to a similar law passed by Hawaii lawmakers last year.

"I know in my heart it was the right decision. I expected this all along. I say that because it's an infringement on free speech," said Garret Hashimoto, president of Aloha Pregnancy Care and Counseling Center in Kaneohe.

Aloha Pregnancy is one of five pro-life clinics in Hawaii.

Backers of the bill said they were disappointed by the ruling.

"At the end of the day, we want to provide women with a wide variety of services but by curtailing that, we're just leading toward bad health outcomes," said state Rep. Della Au Belatti, (D) Makiki.

After Hawaii's Legislature passed the law, Aloha Pregnancy and Calvary Chapel Pearl Harbor sued the state to avoid having to display the abortion notices.

Those cases have been on hold pending the Supreme Court's ruling. Attorneys for the centers said they'll now ask a federal judge to strike down the Hawaii law.

"Free speech is protected, respect for divergent views is protected and that the government really cannot be compelling people to say things they don't believe in," said James Hochberg, attorney for Calvary Chapel.

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