Channel: The Kaʻū Calendar News Briefs, Hawaiʻi Island
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Ka`u News Briefs Saturday, Jan. 4, 2014

State Representative District V, with its southern boundary at Honu`apo, is getting a new representative after the resignation of Denny Coffman.
NAMING OF NEXT STATE REPRESENTATIVE for west Ka`u and Kona is expected at any time. The state Democratic Party has declined to reveal the names of the three selected by local Democrats and sent to Gov. Neil Abercrombie, who will pick the next Representative to fill the seat vacated by Denny Coffman. The governor will submit the name for confirmation by the state Senate.
Former State District V Rep. Denny Coffman
      After a persistent request from The Ka`u Calendar, Big Island Democrats did reveal the names of nine Democrats in District V who applied for the job. In alphabetical order, they are: Abigail Au, who works in the governor’s office in Kona; Kaliko Chun, who has worked for the state Legislature for 12 years and sits on national park and other advisory committees; Richard Creagan, retired physician and farmer in Ka`u; Barbara Dalton, governor’s representative in Kona and retired Na`alehu post office manager; Una Greenaway, coffee farmer and organic farming advocate; Lei Kihoi, Kona social worker and attorney; Gene Bucky Leslie, Holualoa florist; Michael Matsukawa, a Kona attorney who has worked on community issues; and Steve Sakala, a diversified farmer in Kealakekua.
      Selection of the three was made through the voting of 12 Democrats attending the selection meeting and one proxie. The candidates were not interviewed and did not attend the meeting where the selection was made (except for those among them who had applied and recused themselves from voting). Candidates were apparently well known to those making the selections.

MORE THAN HALF THE UNITED STATES RECENTLY enacted laws to reduce availability of abortion, according to a report in yesterday's New York Times. With the Hawai`i Legislature opening Jan. 15, pro-choice and pro-life supporters are reviewing Hawai`i’s and other state’s laws to propose adjustments. 
     According to the New York Times story by Erik Eckholm, three states placed a ban on abortions at 20 weeks after a woman’s last menstrual period. Four states further restricted reasons for abortion. Four enacted tougher abortion reporting laws. Nine states enacted new restrictions on abortion providers, including a requirement for the doctor to have practicing privileges at a hospital. Ten states further restricted insurance coverage. Seventeen further limited abortions achieved by administering drugs. Twenty-three states enacted limitations requiring more parent involvement for minors, ultrasound requirements and waiting periods.
     According to Healthy Mothers Healthy Babies Hawai`i Coalition, the rules in Hawai`i are as follows:
     A woman can legally obtain an abortion up to 24 weeks into her pregnancy. Abortion after this point is only permitted to save the life or preserve the health of the woman. Females under the age of 18 can obtain an abortion without having to notify or get permission from a parent. “While you may want to seek the advice of a parent or another adult, you are not required to obtain their permission. Further, there is no imposed waiting period to receive an abortion in Hawai`i,” reports the Healthy Mothers website.
     In Hawai`i, medical records are private and confidential. However, these laws may not apply to insurance records, “so while an insurance company should not share personal medical information with an employer, privacy is not guaranteed by law. To find out how insurance reports to an employer, and what type of information is provided, call the customer service office for the insurance plan,” the website recommends.        
      Medicaid in Hawai`i covers abortion services. Those in a Medicaid managed care plan have the right to obtain an abortion or contraceptive care from any Medicaid provider who offers these services without a referral or prior approval from a managed care organization.
      Those not on Medicaid already but are unable to pay for an abortion may be eligible for Medicaid due to “presumptive eligibility.” This allows quick and temporary enrollment in Medicaid in order to obtain needed services. Many abortion providers will help arrange this coverage.
      In Hawai`i, a pregnant minor has the right to decide for herself whether to continue a pregnancy or have an abortion. In addition, any pregnant woman can consent to medical, dental, health and hospital services relating to prenatal care. Any necessary medical treatment a pregnant woman receives can be regarded as “relating to prenatal care.” For this reason, a pregnant teen can consent to all or almost all health care services on her behalf.
     Those under 18 using parents’ health insurance or Child Health Plus benefits may not maintain confidentiality. Itemized benefit statements sent to the family can sometimes reveal confidential information. A young person seeking services under a parent’s private insurance plan can contact the insurance company directly to inquire about its policy and thus be aware of the risks of disclosure before choosing this method of payment.
     Medicaid offers two programs that will enroll teens without counting family income. Pregnant teens may be eligible for coverage under Medicade’s Prenatal Care Assistance Program. It covers nearly all health care during pregnancy and, for most teens, will also cover abortion services. Medicaid’s Family Planning Benefits Program covers most family planning services such as contraceptives (including prescriptions), pregnancy tests, STI/HIV tests, and Pap smears.
     In Hawai`i, a teen can also protect medical information confidentiality by paying for care directly, rather than relying on insurance. Because medical care is costly, the teen may have to seek out care with a low-cost provider, states the Healthy Mothers, Healthy Babies website.
      See NYTimes.com and also hmhb-hawaii.org.

ACCORDING TO AMERICANS UNITED FOR LIFE, Hawai`i lacks the most basic protections for women and unborn children. On its website at aul.org/states/hawaii, the pro-life organization states Hawai`i’s abortion policies and its views about them.
      Hawai`i “fails to require informed consent for abortion, to mandate parental involvement in a minor’s abortion decision, or to ensure that abortion clinics meet minimum health and safety standards.
      “Hawai`i has adopted a ‘Freedom of Choice Act.’ The act provides a ‘right’ to abortion even if Roe v. Wade is eventually overturned, specifically providing that ‘the state shall not deny or interfere with a female’s right to choose or obtain an abortion of a nonviable fetus or an abortion that is necessary to protect the life or health of the female.’
      “Hawai`i has no informed consent or parental involvement law.
      “Hawai`i maintains no enforceable abortion clinic regulations; however, only licensed physicians, surgeons, or licensed osteopathic physicians or surgeons may perform abortions.
      “The state has an enforceable abortion reporting law, but does not require the reporting of information to the Centers for Disease Control.
      “Hawaiian taxpayers are required by statute to pay for ‘medically necessary’ abortions for women receiving state medical assistance. This requirement essentially equates to funding abortion-on-demand in light of the U.S. Supreme Court’s broad definition of ‘health’ in the context of abortion.
      “Hawai`i offers ‘Choose Life’ license plates, the proceeds of which benefit pregnancy care centers and/or other organizations providing abortion alternatives.
      “Hawai`i allows a pharmacist to provide ‘emergency contraception’ to women without a prescription, provided the pharmacist has a collaborative therapy agreement with a licensed physician.
      “Health insurance plans that provide prescription coverage must also provide coverage for contraception. An exemption exists for religious employers.”

KAMEHAMEHA WARRIORS OVERCAME the Ka`u High Trojan boys basketball teams at home yesterday. Junior Varsity score was 60 – 80, with Evan Manoha scoring 17
 points and Titan Ault scoring 16. 


 game ended 56 – 81. 
Alexis Alejo scored 11
 points, and Chance Emmsley AhYee and Brian Gascon scored 9 each. 

VOLCANO ART CENTER’S NEXT EXHIBIT OPENS next Saturday, Jan. 11, with the opening reception at 5 p.m. for New Earth, New Art, The Colors of Sacred, featuring neo-primitive paintings by Christina Skaggs. Call 967-7565 for more information.

ALSO NEXT SATURDAY IS VOLCANO ART CENTER’S Colossal Rummage yART Sale, a major fundraiser at Ni`aulani from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Drop off donations on Wednesday, Jan. 8 & Thursday, Jan. 9 at Ni`aulani Campus in Volcano Village.

Tom Peek, author of Daughters of Fire, holds a writing workshop
next Saturday. Photo by Julia Neal
IN HIS WORKSHOP ENTITLED Tapping Your Creative Right Brain, Tom Peek helps participants unlock the part of their minds that holds wild dreams, fascinating associations, deep metaphors and other gems of imagination, then apply them to writing. The workshop from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 11 at Volcano Art Center's Ni`aulani Campus is open to all levels and genres, and no writing experience is necessary. Sign up at 967-8222. 

A BENEFIT CONCERT TAKES PLACE next Saturday, Jan. 11 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Pahala Community Center. Ka`u High School senior Kamrie Koi is producing the event to raise money for cancer research through the United Way. Entertainment includes Just in Case, JR Band, Keaiwa, Boni Narito, Honokua, Hui Okinawa Kobudo Taiko, Ka`u High School ensemble class and more. The event also features vendors, games, raffle tickets and prizes. Call Kamrie Koi at 430-4964 or Jolene Koi at 936-6249.

KA`U HOSPITAL URGES RESIDENTS to complete its Community Health Needs Assessment atsurveymonkey.com/s/93HQ5MX. The deadline has been extended to Jan. 31.

SEE THE DIRECTORY from the Ka`u Chamber of Commerce at http://snack.to/fzpfg59c.


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