Emergency contraception bill recognizes victims

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According to a measure before the Legislature, sexually assaulted women would be entitled to information about emergency contraception while they are being treated in Hawaii hospitals and emergency rooms.

The bill that moved out of the House Judiciary Committee Tuesday would also require hospitals to dispense emergency contraception to sexually abused women upon request.

Sixteen states and the District of Columbia have passed similar legislation.

Proponents of the bill say access to emergency contraception is particularly pressing on neighbor islands where emergency room and pharmacy choices are limited.

The Department of Health submitted testimony opposing House Bill 127 because a statewide emergency contraception program would be too expensive to implement.

This concern will likely be addressed by the House Finance Committee if a hearing on the bill is scheduled.

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