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Hawaii Abortion Laws

Hawaii abortion laws are, generally speaking, less restrictive than those in many other states. Other jurisdictions often require consent requirements and other statutory obstacles. That said, Hawaii does require a licensed doctor to perform the procedure. But then all states have at least some form or abortion restrictions.

The table below lists the basic provisions of Hawaii's abortion laws. See Abortion Laws and Abortion Rights FAQs to learn more.

Code Section 453-16
Statutory Definition of Illegal Abortion Failure to meet standards for legal abortion
Statutory Definition of Legal Abortion Terminate pregnancy of nonviable fetus
Penalty for Unlawful Abortion Fine to $1,000 and/or imprisonment to 5 years
Consent Requirements -
Residency Requirements for Patients 90 days immediately preceding abortion
Physician Licensing Requirements Licensed M.D. or osteopath, licensed hospital

Note: State laws are constantly changing -- contact a Hawaii attorney or conduct your own legal research to verify the state law(s) you are researching.

Abortion Laws and Roe v. Wade

Abortion was legalized by the U.S. Supreme Court (Roe v. Wade) in 1973, defining the rights of the mother and the interests of the state into three 12-week trimesters. The Court ruled that the state can't regulate the procedure in the first trimester beyond certain requirements that it be performed in a medically safe facility by a licensed physician. Roe made it possible for women to terminate their pregnancies for virtually any reason within certain gestational time limits.

However, many states have placed additional legislative restrictions on abortion, resulting in a patchwork of drastically different state laws. Since Roe, abortion has come under scrutiny by lawmakers and abortion opponents who have pushed for stricter abortion laws over the past several decades.

For instance, the 1992 case of Planned Parenthood v. Casey upheld a woman's right to legal abortion, but imposed state regulation of other aspects of abortion such as 24-hour waiting periods, informed consent requirements, parental consent provisions, and a record keeping mandate.

Although legal abortion still carries, the future of abortion leans toward stricter boundaries that seem to chip away at the essential holding of Roe.

Some of the more common abortion restrictions include mandatory waiting periods between initial consultations and the procedure, mandatory ultrasounds; mandatory counseling about abortion and alternatives, licensing restrictions on facilities, and parental consent requirements. Some states, such as California, do not have these additional restrictions.

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Hawaii Abortion Laws: Related Resources

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