Hawaii pregnancy clinics say new law interferes with faith

September 23, 2017 GMT

HONOLULU (AP) — Hawaii anti-abortion pregnancy centers went to court to argue that a new law violates their right to free speech and religion.

Attorneys for Calvary Chapel Pearl Harbor and the Aloha Pregnancy Care and Counseling Center said Friday a new law interferes with their faith and requires them to post abortion referrals.

But the state argued that the law does not violate anyone’s constitutional rights and is instead about making sure women are safe, Hawaii News Now reported (http://bit.ly/2ho8IL1 ).


“It’s actually ... to make sure that women who are at these centers that provide limited services are aware that there are greater services available to them and that those services can be free or at low cost,” Deputy Attorney General Deidre Marie-Iha said. “There are thousands of women who need these kinds of services and are yet unaware.”

Under the new law, limited-service pregnancy centers are required to display a written statement in clear viewing areas that says in part: “Hawaii has public programs that provide immediate free or low-cost access to comprehensive family planning services, including, but not limited to, all FDA-approved methods of contraception and pregnancy-related services for eligible women.”

U.S. District Judge Derrick Watson did not issue a ruling, but he will likely do so in the next few weeks.