STAND. COM. REP. NO. 315
RE: S.B. No. 501
Honorable Ronald D. Kouchi
President of the Senate
Twenty-Ninth State Legislature
Regular Session of 2017
State of Hawaii
Your Committees on Commerce, Consumer Protection, and Health and Judiciary and Labor, to which was referred S.B. No. 501 entitled:
"A BILL FOR AN ACT RELATING TO HEALTH,"
beg leave to report as follows:
The purpose and intent of this measure is to ensure that women in Hawaii are able to make personal reproductive health decisions with full and accurate information regarding their rights to access the full range of healthcare services that are available.
Your Committees received testimony in support of this measure from Hawaii State Commission on the Status of Women, Planned Parenthood Votes Northwest and Hawaii, American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, LGBT Caucus of the Democratic Party of Hawai‘i, Hawaii Women's Coalition, National Women's Political Caucus Hawaii Chapter, Young Progressives Demanding Action, and seventeen individuals. Your Committees received testimony in opposition to this measure from the Aloha Pregnancy Care and Counseling Center, Hawaii Family Forum, Calvary Chapel Pearl Harbor, A Place for Women in Waipio, Hawaii Federation of Republican Women, Malama Pregnancy Center of Maui, Hawaii Catholic Conference, Pearson Foundation of HI, Inc., Hawaii Life Alliance, Aloha Pregnancy Center, and thirty-three individuals. Your Committees received comments on this measure from the Department of Health and Department of Human Services.
Your Committees find that anyone seeking healthcare should receive comprehensive, accurate, unbiased information in a confidential setting, and that reproductive healthcare is no different. When women are fully informed, they can better make the best decisions for themselves and their health. Your Committees further find that regardless of where a woman seeks information about reproductive health, she should receive information about the full range of options, including how to obtain health insurance coverage should she be uninsured.
Your Committees also find that thousands of women in the State are in need of publicly-funded family planning services, contraception services and education, abortion services, prenatal care, and birth-related services. In Hawaii, low-income women can receive immediate access to free or low-cost comprehensive family planning services and pregnancy-related care through Med-QUEST and the Department of Health's family planning program. Your Committees find, however, that many women remain unaware of the public programs available to provide them with family planning and pregnancy-related services.
Your Committees appreciate the abundance of testimony submitted on this measure. Your Committees have heard the concerns expressed regarding this measure, and note that the measure does not require limited pregnancy centers to change the services that they provide. Because family planning decisions are time sensitive and early care in pregnancy is important, the State must make every effort possible to advise women of all available reproductive health programs.
Your Committees have amended this measure by:
(1) Adding language to the definition of "limited service pregnancy center" or "center" to specify that these centers do not include centers that are contracted providers with a Medicaid health plan;
(2) Amending the notice language that limited service pregnancy centers are required to disseminate on site by:
(A) Inserting language indicating that the clinic does not provide abortion services or abortion referrals, and providing information that only ultrasounds performed by qualified healthcare professionals and read by licensed clinicians should be considered medically accurate; and
(B) Removing language that directed individuals to contact appropriate Med-QUEST division eligibility offices to determine whether they qualify for free or low-cost family planning services and replacing it with language indicating that individuals should apply on-line at mybenefits.hawaii.gov for medical insurance coverage; and
(3) Making technical, nonsubstantive amendments for the purposes of clarity and consistency.
As affirmed by the records of votes of the members of your Committees on Commerce, Consumer Protection, and Health and Judiciary and Labor that are attached to this report, your Committees are in accord with the intent and purpose of S.B. No. 501, as amended herein, and recommend that it pass Second Reading in the form attached hereto as S.B. No. 501, S.D. 1, and be referred to your Committee on Ways and Means.
Respectfully submitted on behalf of the members of the Committees on Commerce, Consumer Protection, and Health and Judiciary and Labor,
GILBERT S.C. KEITH-AGARAN, Chair
ROSALYN H. BAKER, Chair