Friday, March 24, 2017   Search

Current Articles | Archives | Search

Monday, March 06, 2017
Hawaii Lawmakers Censor Pro-Lifers Defending Free Speech
By Selected News Articles @ 5:49 PM :: 646 Views :: Ethics, First Amendment, Life
 

Hawaii Lawmakers Censor Pro-Lifers Defending Free Speech

by Jay Hobbs, Christian Post, March 6, 2017

As if they weren't singled out enough already by legislation that would force them to promote state taxpayer-funded abortions, leaders at the five pro-life pregnancy help centers in Hawaii are starting to realize just how stacked the deck is against them.

Given the opportunity to submit testimony prior to the state senate's Ways and Means Committee vote Feb. 23 — the last step prior to a senate vote — representatives from at least three of the five pregnancy centers did exactly that, even receiving online receipts showing they'd filed testimony properly and on time.

When the committee voted, 7-2, to pass the bill through to the senate, Stacey Jimenez, director of operations for A Place for Women in Waipio — a ministry run by Calvary Chapel Pearl Harbor — wasn't surprised.

What did surprise Jimenez, however, was that prior to the meeting, the testimonies she and several other pregnancy center supporters submitted had been completely omitted from the process, in spite of the fact they had receipts from their online submission forms.

Joy Wright, the executive director for Malama Pregnancy Center, had noticed the same thing, and contacted the state senate president's office. When she pointed out the testimonies were missing, Wright was told they were in the process of being posted — a week after the committee vote.

"It's very concerning that key testimonies weren't posted," Wright said on Friday. "The fact that we did not have a voice and that a decision is very concerning. Even if they're for the bill, it's very important that we have a voice. We are abiding by the process put together by the state legislature, and so if it's not followed through on the other side, then we have a problem that needs to be addressed."

At a visit with state Sen. Breene Harimoto — a committee Democrat who voted against the bill — Jimenez' and Wright's growing suspicion was confirmed.

The overwhelming majority of testimonies pro-lifers had submitted, including those of leaders and medical staff at the centers, were held back from senators on the committee ahead of the vote.

"I told him what happened with my testimony, and he's like, 'They're censoring you,'" Jimenez said. "He brought in his top aide and he said, 'Listen to what she's telling you.' He says, 'They should not be able to censor your testimony.'"

After the meeting at Sen. Harimoto's office, Jimenez raised the concern with the legal counsel for Hawaii's state senate, who assured Jimenez he would look into the matter. Jimenez also reached out to National Institute of Family and Life Advocates (NIFLA) — a membership organization that is a named plaintiff fighting similar legislative efforts in California and Illinois.

California passed a 2015 law, the so-called "Reproductive FACT Act," which serves as a template for the Hawaii legislation and forces pregnancy centers to advertise to all clients where and how they can receive a state taxpayer-funded abortion.

Though upheld by the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals — notorious for being consistently overturned at the Supreme Court level — that law is likely on its way to the Supreme Court. NIFLA and Alliance Defending Freedom — the lead counsel for the California case — are also fighting a similar, though farther-reaching, law in Illinois.

At issue in all cases is the First Amendment's guarantee of the rights of free speech and free exercise of religion, which pro-lifers argue is violated by the state forcing them to speak a message in violation of deeply held religious beliefs.

In light of the ongoing struggle in Hawaii, another portion of the Constitution's First Amendment is coming into focus.

"The First Amendment also protects the rights of Americans to petition the government for a redress of their grievances," Anne O'Connor, NIFLA's vice president of legal affairs, said. "This has been violated by the Hawaiian legislature as well. The Centers in trying to oppose this bill have been censured in a way that is mind-boggling in our democracy.

"Their filed written oppositions have mysteriously been lost and therefore not considered before the vote."

In a video posted to Facebook on Friday, Calvary Chapel Pearl Harbor pastor Derald Skinner appealed to the same portion of the First Amendment.

"This bill demands that all pregnancy resource centers—which are faith-based—must place an abortion sign in their lobbies," Skinner said. "Plus, we have discovered that many of our testimonies that we sent to the Senate never reached the senators before their committee vote... That censorship is directly against our First Amendment right."

While no date has been announced for the senate vote, Jimenez said she expects the floor to hear the bill as soon as Tuesday, March 7. In the meantime, Jimenez is hoping the clear breech of protocol will be enough to cause the senate to, at the very least, hold the bill until the next legislative session.

By then, it's likely California's law will be before the Supreme Court.

"Our voice was not heard," Jimenez said. "It does us no good if they see our testimony five days after the fact. We played by the rules and they're breaking the rules. Mistakes happen, absolutely, but when you make a mistake, you have to take some responsibility."

---30---

Jay Hobbs is editor-in-chief of Pregnancy Help News

Big Q: Should private, religious-based pregnancy clinics be required to provide information on access to abortion?  -- 52% Say No

Comments
LINKS:

TEXT "follow HawaiiFreePress" to 40404

ARCHIVES: Daily News Read

ARCHIVES: HawaiiFreePress

JOIN OUR EMAIL LIST

RSS FEED Latest 25 articles

TWITTER HawaiiFreePress

Register to Vote

2aHawaii

808 Silent Majority

808 State Update AM940

ABCDEFG Blog

ACA Signups Hawaii

ALEC

Alliance Defending Freedom

Aloha Conservative Alliance

Aloha Life Advocates

Aloha Pregnancy Care Center

American Council of Trustees and Alumni

American Mothers of Hawaii

AMVETS-Hawaii

AntiPlanner

Antonio Gramsci Reading List

A'ole Eradication

A Place for Women in Waipio

Atomic Monkey

Ballotpedia Hawaii

Better Hawaii

Broken Trust

CAFR Hawaii

Castaway Conservative

Children's Alliance Hawaii

Children's Rights Institute

Choice is an Illusion

Christian Home Educators of Maui

Christian Homeschoolers of Hawaii

Citizens for Recall

Cliff Slater's Second Opinion

Coffee Break

Conservative Forum for Hawaii

CSIS Pacific Forum

DAR Hawaii

December 7 Battlefields at risk

DeedySupport.com

DefendOurKeiki.com

DVids Hawaii

Education Institute of Hawaii

E Hana Kakou Kelii Akina

E Māua Ola i Moku o Keawe

Exposing Chris Butler Cult

Farmers and Friends

Farmers For Choice Hawaii

FIRE

Fix Oahu!

Follow the Money Hawaii

Frank in Hawaii

Friends of Lanai

Front Page Magazine

Frontline: The Fixers

Genetic Literacy Project

Get Off Your Butts!

God, Freedom, America

GoGoGMO!

Grassroot Institute

Habele.org

Hawaii Aganst Assisted Suicide

Hawaii Aquarium Fish Report

Hawaii Aviation Preservation Society

Hawaii Catholic TV

Hawaii Christian Coalition

Hawaii Cigar Association

Hawaii Concealed Carry

Hawaii Coalition Against Legalized Gambling

Hawaii Credit Union Watch

Hawaii Crop Improvement Association

Hawaii Debt Clock

Hawaii Defending Marriage

Hawaii Defense Foundation

Hawaii Families for Educational Choice

Hawaii Family Advocates

Hawaii Family Forum

Hawaii Farmers and Ranchers United

Hawaii Farmer's Daughter

Hawaii Federalist Society

Hawaii Federation of Republican Women

Hawaii Firearm Community

Hawaii Fishermen's Alliance

Hawaii Future Project

Hawaii Gathering of Eagles

Hawaii History Blog

Hawaii Homeschool Association

Hawaii-Israel Alignment

Hawaii Jihadi Trial

Hawaii Knights of Columbus

Hawaii March for Life

Hawaii Meth Project

Hawaii Open Budget

Hawaii's Partnership for Appropriate & Compassionate Care

Hawaii Public Charter School Network

HawaiiReporter.com

Hawaii Rifle Association

Hawaii Right to Life -- Big Island

Hawaii Right to Life -- Oahu

Hawaii Senate Informer

Hawaii Shield Law Coalition

Hawaii Shippers Council

Hawaii Smokers Alliance

Hawaii State Data Lab

Hawaii Votes

Hepsy's Kuleana

Heritage Foundation

HHUA

HI Coalition Against Legalized Gambling

HIEC.Coop

Hiram Fong Papers

Homeschool Legal Defense Hawaii

Honolulu Navy League

Honolulu TEA Party

Honolulu Traffic

Horns of Jericho Blog

House Minority Blog

House Republican Caucus

House Republican Caucus YouTube

HPACC

Hump Day Report

Hunting, Farming and Fishing Assoc.

I Vote Hawaii

If Hawaii News

Inouye-Kwock, NYT 1992

Inside the Nature Conservancy

Inverse Condemnation

Investigative Project on Terrorism

Iowa Meets Maui

Jackson v Abercrombie

Jihad Watch

Judgepedia Hawaii

July 4 in Hawaii

Kahle v New Hope

Kahua Group

Kakaako Cares

Kau TEA Party

Kauai Co GOP

Keep Hawaii's Heroes

KeyWiki

Kona TEA Party

Land and Power in Hawaii

Legislative Committee Analysis Tool

Lessons in Firearm Education

Lingle Years

Malulani Foundation

Managed Care Matters -- Hawaii

Mauna Kea Recreational Users Group

Marsy's Law for Hawaii

MentalIllnessPolicy.org

Middle East Forum--The Legal Project

Mililani Conservatives for Change

Military Home Educators' Network Oahu

Missile Defense Advocacy

MIS Veterans Hawaii

Muslim Brotherhood in America

NAMI Hawaii

NARTH

Natatorium.org

National Christian Foundation Hawaii

National Parents Org Hawaii

National Wind Watch

New Zeal

NFIB Hawaii News

No GMO Means No Aloha

No Hawaii Beverage Tax

Northwest Economic Policy Seminar

Not Dead Yet, Hawaii

Now What I Really Think

NRA-ILA Hawaii

ObamaCare Abortion Hawaii

OHA Lies

Ohana Policy Group

OpenHawaii.org

Pacific Aviation Museum

Patients Rights Council Hawaii

Patriot Voices Hawaii

PEACE Hawaii

People vs Machine

Perry and Price Show

Pritchett Cartoons 

Pro-GMO Hawaii

P.U.E.O.

RailRipoff.com

Rental by Owner Awareness Assn

Republican Party -- Hawaii State

Research Institute for Hawaii USA

Rick Hamada Show

RJ Rummel

Robotics Organizing Committee

Salvage The Rail

Save Our Doctors Hawaii

Save the Plastic Bag

School Choice in Hawaii

Senate Minority FB

SenatorFong.com

SIFE Remington

SIFE W. Oahu

Smart About Marijuana--Hawaii

St Marianne Cope

State Budget Solutions Hawaii

State Policy Network

Stop SB2424

Tax Foundation of Hawaii

TEA Party Maui

TFB Micronesia

The Harriet Tubman Agenda

The Long War Journal

The Real Hanabusa

The Verifiable Truth

The Voice of Kapolei

Tim Lussier HuffPo Hawaii

Time Out Honolulu

Truth About Trade & Technology - Hawaii

UCC Truths

Union Members Know Your Rights

United Veterans Hawaii

US Tax Foundation Hawaii Info

Valor in the Pacific

VAREP Honolulu

Vote No 113

Waagey.org

WAPNFFS

Watchdog Hawaii

West Maui Taxpayers Association

What Natalie Thinks

Whole Life Hawaii

YAL UH Hilo 

Yes2TMT


Maui TEA Party
Maui TEA Party