Monday, July 29, 2013

Hawai'i Senate Race: Brian Schatz's Record On Choice Is Far Better Than Colleen Hanabusa's


Another wise Brain Schatz supporter

More often than not, EMILY's List backs conservative women but they claim they only back ones who are pro-Choice. And most of the conservative women they endorse are indeed pro-Choice... kinda, sorta. Sometimes they're far less pro-Choice than the progressive men EMILY's List is always on a jihad against. Almost every race pitting one of the EMILY'S List conservative women against a progressive male, shows the male to be the more pro-Choice. And that's certainly the case in the Hawai'i Senate race this cycle in which EMILY's List has encouraged conservative New Dem Colleen Hanabusa, technically a pro-Choice candidate-- if only marginally-- against progressive incumbent, Brian Schatz, who has a spectacular pro-Choice record.

In April 2013, Governor Neil Abercrombie signed a bill into law to ensure that sexual assault victims are provided information about and access to emergency contraception when receiving emergency medical care at Hawaii's hospitals-- religious or not. Opposed by conservatives, the legislation progressed through Hawaii’s legislature for decades without success-- including under then-State Senator Colleen Hanabusa’s supervision as Chair of the Judiciary and Hawaiian Affairs Committee.

While serving as Chairwoman from 2003 to 2006, Hanabusa repeatedly thwarted or watered down legislation that included language protecting access to emergency contraception for victims of rape and sexual assault no matter the healthcare provider. First, in the 2003-2004 legislature, Chairwoman Hanabusa altered a bill that would have provided emergency contraception for victims of sexual assault in all of Hawaii’s hospitals so that only “nonreligious hospitals” would have to comply with the law. From the Standing Committee Report signed by Hanabusa:
“Your Committee notes that use of emergency contraceptives in sexual assault cases is endorsed by the American Medical Association, the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, and the Hawaii Medical Association. Your Committee is sensitive, however, to other religious, social, and moral views on contraception. Therefore, after balancing the needs of victims with the religious beliefs of care providers, your Committee amended the bill by:
(1) Amending the purpose section to clarify that only nonreligious hospitals are required to offer and provide emergency contraceptives to sexual assault survivors;

(2) Adding a definition for "religious hospital"; and

(3) Adding a new section that exempts religious hospitals from the requirement of offering and providing emergency contraceptives while retaining the requirement that they provide unbiased information on the risks of pregnancy.” [Senate Judiciary Standing Committee Report, SB658, 2/26/03]
That bill later was vetoed by Governor Linda Lingle. Another piece of legislation targeted at providing emergency contraception for victims of sexual assault that was explicitly crafted without an exemption for religious hospitals was referred to and died in under Hanabusa’s supervision as Judiciary Chair. Then, in 2005 and 2006, Hanabusa continued to dead-end sexual assault emergency contraception language and even missed a committee vote to direct a working committee study the best way in which to disseminate information on over-the-counter emergency contraception.

That's the kind of garbage EMILY's List backs, even though Schatz helped lead the charge to provide over-the-counter emergency contraception in Hawaii, supported increased access to abortion services, actually DID support requiring hospitals provide access to emergency contraception for victims of sexual assault and supported increasing access to medical care for minors (without parental consent). By any objective comparison of the two candidates' records on Choice, Schatz would get an A+ and Hanabusa, maybe a B... maybe a B-.

You can support Senator Schatz's reelection efforts at the Blue America Senate page. He's better than his opponent, across a wide array of issues. She's a conservative New Dem who frequently votes with Republicans. He's a progressive. It makes a difference. She's also one of the most corrupt Members of Congress, on either side if the aisle.

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