HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) – Doctors who provide women’s health care say they expect more women to come to Hawaii seeking abortions if Roe v. Wade is overturned.
Obstetrician-gynecologists say it’s already happening.
Oahu OB-GYNs Dr. Bliss Kaneshiro and Dr. Divya Dethier are planning for the reality that Roe v Wade will likely be overturned by the U.S. Supreme Court this summer.
“Seeing it be a close reality kind of felt like a punch in the gut,” said Dethier.
Their clinic sees about five out-of-state abortions per month and they expect that to rise.
“Expecting that there would be a surge in patients who would come to us knowing that we are state that would protect the right to an abortion,” Dethier said.
Physicians say if Roe v. Wade is overturned, half of America is expected to ban or restrict abortions so more women seeking them would travel to blue states.
“Even though Hawaii is an ocean away from the continent, we’ve already seen patients from Texas travel to Hawaii. We see some of them every month in our offices,” said Kaneshiro.
Hawaii doctors already see several patients from Guam, which has conservative policies.
“There is no abortion provider in Guam now so they have to receive those services via telemedicine and I think we will see more patients who will have to travel to receive abortion care,” Kaneshiro said.
Meanwhile this week, Gov. David Ige stressed that women’s right to choose will continue to be protected in Hawaii.
“I think for women in the state of Hawaii we’re in a good place,” he said.
Doctors say abortion access on the neighbor islands can be difficult ― not because of the law but because of the physician shortage.
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