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Hawaii Abortion Laws

Summary

Abortion is legal in Hawaii through viability. Thereafter, abortion is legal only if the fetus cannot survive or the life of the mother is at risk.

Introduction

Hawaii abortion laws are, generally speaking, less restrictive than those in many other states. Other jurisdictions often require consent requirements and other statutory obstacles. That said, Hawaii does require a licensed doctor to perform the procedure. 

The table below lists the basic provisions of Hawaii's abortion laws. See Abortion Laws and Abortion Rights FAQs to learn more.

Code Section Chapter 453, Section 16
Statutory Definition of Illegal Abortion Failure to meet standards for legal abortion
Statutory Definition of Legal Abortion Terminate pregnancy of nonviable fetus. (Viable fetuses can be terminated to protect the life or health of the patient.)
Penalty for Unlawful Abortion Fine to $1,000 and/or imprisonment to 5 years
Consent Requirements -
Residency Requirements for Patients -
Physician Licensing Requirements Must be performed by a licensed M.D. or osteopath at a licensed hospital or in a clinic or physician's/osteopath's office. Note that Advanced Practice Registered Nurses may prescribe abortion medication.

Note: State laws are constantly changing -- contact a Hawaii attorney or conduct your own legal research to verify the state law(s) you are researching.

Abortion Laws and Roe v. Wade

Abortion was legalized by the U.S. Supreme Court (Roe v. Wade) in 1973, defining the rights of the mother and the interests of the state into three 12-week trimesters. The Court ruled that the state can't regulate the procedure in the first trimester beyond certain requirements that it be performed in a medically safe facility by a licensed physician. Roe made it possible for women to terminate their pregnancies for virtually any reason within certain gestational time limits.

On June 24, 2022, the Supreme Court overruled Roe in Dobbs v. Jackson Women's Health Organization. Dobbs returned to the states the power to regulate, even prohibit, abortion. Because Hawaii had largely codified Roe, the Dobbs decision has not changed the availability of abortion in Hawaii.

However, many states have placed additional legislative restrictions on abortion, resulting in a patchwork of drastically different state laws. Some of the more common abortion restrictions include mandatory waiting periods between initial consultations and the procedure, mandatory ultrasounds; mandatory counseling about abortion and alternatives, licensing restrictions on facilities, and parental consent requirements. Some states, such as California, do not have these additional restrictions.

Research the Law

Hawaii Abortion Laws: Related Resources

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