Is This A More Progressive Hawaii Legislature?

Nathan Eagle/Civil Beat

The Hawaii Legislature in 2013 is poised to do something that it has failed to do for more than a decade: pass legislation ensuring that female sexual assault victims have access to emergency contraception.

House Bill 411 and Senate Bill 1109 require that victims be provided "medically and factually accurate and unbiased information" about emergency contraception when receiving emergency care at Hawaii hospitals.

The "compassionate care" measures — they are nearly identical — passed the House and the Senate, respectively, on Thursday by large margins.

If signed into law, an emergency contraception act would mean that Hawaii, as Sen. Roz Baker put it, would "join the 21st century in standard of care for rape victims."

Other measures moving at the Legislature help women, the poor, the homeless, the elderly and the young.

Is this a more progressive Legislature?

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