LIHUE - Supporters of Planned Parenthood of Hawaii, led by YWCA of Kauai Director Renae Hamilton, displayed signs of their support for the Planned Parenthood services being offered at the Malama Pono Health Services office Friday, disagreeing with pro-life advocates on Rice Street in Lihue.
“The goal of the rally is to encourage people to become aware and educated about the Planned Parenthood services and not to feel ashamed or guilty in accessing what you need for your own personal health care,” said Hamilton.
YWCA USA is a strong supporter of Planned Parenthood for women’s health services, according to Hamilton.
Since Feb. 17, Malama Pono Health Services, partnered with Planned Parenthood, has provided low-cost treatment and prevention of sexually transmitted diseases as well as other services such as breast exams, cervical cancer exams, education and family planning information on Kauai, but the office does not provide abortion services.
“We want people to know that there are health issues in our community. Planned Parenthood provides a very valuable service to women of all ages,” Hamilton said. “There is misinformation about contraception. Contraception is not abortion; contraception is used for an array of health reasons.”
D.Q. Jackson, executive director of Malama Pono Heath Services, issued the following statement: “Malama Pono Health Services respects the rights of religious protesters but there is a false allegation of abortion at Malama Pono Heath Services. Malama Pono does not provide abortions. It never has and never will. Planned Parenthood of Hawaii does not provide abortions at Malama Pono or on Kauai.”
Planned Parenthood does provide abortion services on Oahu, Maui and the Big Island. Planned Parenthood offers two types of abortion services: the abortion pill and in-clinic abortions.
Before Planned Parenthood had a clinic on Kauai, people would have to go to their personal doctor or to the emergency room for treatment if they did not have health insurance.
Some businesses near the Malama Pono office said business is severely reduced when pro-life advocates protest outside the clinic. A local business owner who did not wish to be named said, “Business on Fridays is significantly down. People don’t want to walk by here when they see protesters near the business.”
For more information on Malama Pono Health Services go to www.malama-pono.org.