Lt. Gov. Josh Green today said that “on day one” he will issue an executive order ensuring that women in Hawaii have access to abortions, if he’s elected governor.
“My administration will take action on day one to ensure that the rights of women in Hawaii are protected,” Green said in a statement today. “We will not allow extreme laws from other states to threaten reproductive healthcare rights in our state.”
Green is running against Republican James “Duke” Aiona in the Nov. 8 general election. The winner will assume office in January.
Aiona — a former two-term lieutenant governor who continues to campaign on his Christian values — did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Green’s announcement.
But Aiona previously told the Honolulu Star-Advertiser that it is up to the state Legislature — not the governor — to determine the future of abortion in Hawaii after the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling this year that leaves the issue up to individual states.
Several states, including Texas, have moved to ban abortions and U.S. Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina) last week proposed a national ban on abortions after 15 weeks, with exceptions, which has divided the GOP. Green’s announcement specifically mentions Texas.
“The opposing ticket wants to ban abortion with no exceptions for rape, incest, or danger to the life of the mother,” Green said in a statement, “and that kind of extreme position is profoundly out of step with Hawaii’s voters and our values. Under their policy, patients and healthcare providers would no longer feel safe in our state, and that’s not something we can risk.”
Green said he will also propose legislation “to ensure that reproductive care providers and patients are protected from prosecution under laws in other states, and women in Hawaii have the resources they need to make informed decisions about their own reproductive health.”
Green has been endorsed by Planned Parenthood Alliance Advocates – Hawaii.
Green’s announcement included a statement from his lieutenant governor running mate, state Rep. Sylvia Luke, who said:
“I am proud to stand with Lt. Governor Green and his plan to protect every woman’s right to decide whether and when to have a family,” Luke said. “We also support our local doctors, nurses, and health care workers that provide family planning and reproductive health care, they should be able to treat patients without fear of out-of-state lawsuits.”