People Seeking Abortions in Hawai’i Now Have Access to a One-of-a-Kind Service guide to abortion carecompiled by the Hawai’i Collective Abortion (HAC). Last week, members of the newly formed coalition, including the Hawaii State Commission on the Status of Women, Planned Parenthood and the Healthy Mothers Healthy Babies Coalition of Hawai’i, announced the creation of the guide during of a press conference at the Hawaii ‘I State Capitol.
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When the United States Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade in June, leaving abortion policy to the states, abortion remained legal in Hawai’i under the state Constitution and state laws. ‘State in the Revised Laws of Hawai’i Passed by the Hawaii State Legislature. . However, the decision causes confusion and caution among providers and those requesting abortions across the country. Additionally, abortion is not accessible to everyone, such as those who are underinsured or uninsured or who live on islands with few abortion providers.
“We hope this guide, put together by the Hawai’i Abortion Collective, will help combat the misinformation so prevalent online and in the community, so everyone knows that abortion in Hawai’i is legal, safe and available. “, Tracy Chen, MD, OB / GYN at Queen’s Health System, said during the press conference.
The Abortion Guide, which HAC says is subject to change over time and with community input, lists information about the legality of abortion in Hawai’i, how to access abortion care regardless of the quality of insurance and other welfare resources.
The guide explicitly sets out several provisions:
- It is legal to leave Hawai’i for out-of-state abortions.
- The decision of when to have an abortion should be a private decision between the patient and her health care provider.
- People wishing to have an abortion can ask their insurance company to keep information about the procedure confidential from others if they are covered under a partner or family plan.
- Minors under 18 can consent to an abortion if they are at least 14 years old and can ask their insurance to keep the procedure and other information private from parents or guardians.
The guide describes the different abortion methods and the recommended procedure depending on the person’s pregnancy. For example, he explains that medical abortions (pills or oral medications) are available up to 11 weeks after the start of a person’s last period.
It also offers advice on how abortion care is covered based on your ability to pay. According to the guide, in-clinic abortions typically cost $850 up to 12 weeks gestation, $950 between 12 and 14 weeks, and $1,050 to $1,539 after more than 14 weeks.
Most private insurance companies, such as HMSA, AlohaCare, and Kaiser, cover both medication and vacuum aspiration, while federal insurance, such as Tricare/Triwest, does not cover abortion except in case of rape, incest or if the life of the pregnant person is in danger.
Med-QUEST, the national Medicaid program, also provides coverage for abortion care, as well as coordinating transportation to a nearby island if there are no providers on the patient’s island.
If a patient is uninsured, the guide encourages her to apply for Med-QUEST or contact one of the many local and community abortion funds. These funds include the University of Hawai’i Reproductive Justice Fund Women’s Options Centerthe Hawaii Abortion Fund from the AF3IRM Hawai’i grassroots organization, and national funds for abortion.
The guide also provides information on legal resources, abortion doulas, community health center wellness services, support for survivors of sexual assault and domestic violence, and resources for the LGBTQIA+ community ( such as clinics that specifically focus on transgender care and LGBTQIA+ support).
Abortion advocates in Hawai’i warn that while abortion remains protected in the state, it must work to expand protections.
“[Guam] recently introduced a bill similar to Texas’ SB 8 into their legislature,” Reni Soon, MD, president of the Hawai’i Chapter of the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, told State of Reform. “[Guam] has been without an abortion provider for 4 years now. We get a handful of patients from Guam every month. It may or may not increase [post-Roe v. Wade].”
Representative Linda Ichiyama (D – Moanalua Valley), who spoke at the HAC press conference, also plans to continue to strengthen abortion care in the next legislative session. Last year, the legislature passed a invoice allowing advanced practice registered nurses to provide abortion care. Going forward, Ichiyama said training enough providers, especially on islands without abortion providers, is key to expanding access to care in the state.