Abortion Bill & Smoking Ban Bill Held at Legislature
A House bill restricting abortion and a House bill on a potential ban on tobacco products were both held in the House Health Committee on Thursday, Feb. 7, 2019. By holding the bills, it effectively kills such measures for the 2019 session.
“I believe democracy represents government of the people, by the people, for the people, which must include a person’s right of choice, albeit detrimental to their health,” said Rep. John M. Mizuno, chair of the House Health Committee. “Therefore, while I sincerely respect the values and choices of all people, I felt that the magnitude of issues dealing with life and health should at the very least have a public hearing to allow the people’s voices to be heard. Government has a responsibility to ensure the safety of every single citizen and person in Hawaiʻi and it is absolutely crucial for our government to do everything in its power to save and preserve their lives.”
On HB 1184 relating to born alive infants, Mizuno deferred the bill saying, “The bill is unnecessary because we have sufficient laws on the books, such as Hawai‘i Revised Statues Sec. 707-701.5 which defines murder in the second degree for a person who intentionally or knowingly causes the death of another person. A person is defined as a human. Infanticide or the killing of a newborn baby is already covered sufficiently by our laws. Nonetheless, it was important to confirm the fact that our State has adequate policy in place to protect our newborn babies.”
On HB 1509 relating to a potential ban on cigarettes Mizuno said, “According to the Department of Health, in Hawaiʻi, 1,400 individuals die of smoking-related causes each year. The annual health costs directly related to by smoking in Hawaiʻi is approximately $526 million. Although an outright smoking ban is too extreme for our State at this time, I believe the discussion on this issue has merit.”