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Abercrombie signs emergency contraception bill

By Sarah Zoellick

LAST UPDATED: 5:08 p.m. HST, Apr 22, 2013

Gov. Neil Abercrombie signed into law today a bill that requires Hawaii hospitals to provide female sexual assault victims with medically and factually accurate information regarding emergency contraception as well as provide emergency contraception to all women who accept or request it.

The bill, which aims to prevent pregnancies as a result of rape, has been a point of contention among lawmakers for nearly two decades, and many gathered to cheer on the governor as he signed it into law.

“This bill as it has evolved assures sexual assault victims will receive not just information not just perspective not just inquiry but the opportunity in fact to be able to be assured that they will be not further victimized,” Abercrombie said. “The consequences down the line in terms of pregnancy merely add a factor that no one should have to face.”

House Bill 411 was amended by the House Health and Judiciary committees before sailing through the Senate unamended. It was sent to the governor for signing on April 11.

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