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CREDIT: Vincent Yano 1988 interview courtesy of Ulu'ulu Moving Image Archive and Center for Labor Education and Research.
Rep. Pat Saiki's husband was an OBGYN.
"We all - my husband, the patient and I - could be arrested for breaking the law." - Pat Saiki (page 48)
Women needed legal abortions performed by a licensed
physician in a hospital setting.
Honolulu Star Advertiser March 12, 1970
Any woman who has lived in Hawaii for at least 90 days now can have an abortion, provided her doctor and a hospital approve.
For More American Moms, Kids are a 30's Thing.
- The Wall Street Journal
In Hawaiʻi, a woman’s right to control her body was protected before Roe vs. Wade and will be protected after Roe. vs. Wade.
Hawaiʻi was the first state to legalize abortion. This historic first did not occur in a vacuum but was part of a holistic effort to create a fair and supportive society for women. In the same effort and era, Hawaiʻi became the first state to create a government agency for women’s rights—the Hawaiʻi State Commission on the Status of Women—and, Hawaiʻi’s own Patsy Takemoto Mink, the first Asian-American women in Congress, opened the door to education for women by passing Title IX.
These policy landmarks are rooted in our cultures. Traditional birth practices, like those of kānaka ʻōiwi, perpetuated a sacred respect for women. ʻŌmilomilo (abortion) was practiced by ʻōiwi practitioners prior to colonization. Women had the choice to “exercise control over decisions on when to have a child, how many children to have and how far apart they should be.”
The safety, bodily autonomy, and happiness of women and birthing people should not be controversial. It is not incompatible with religious practice. Women’s rights and māhū rights are part of who we are here in Hawaiʻi.
Accordingly, I pledge to carry on the legacy of women’s rights forged by our ancestors, by Patsy Mink, and countless women leaders.
I pledge to protect and strengthen a woman’s right to her body.
Governor David Ige
Lieutenant Governor Josh Green
Senate President Ronald D. Kouchi
Senate Vice President Michelle Kidani
Senate Majority Leader Dru Mamo Kanuha
Senate Majority Policy Leader Les Ihara Jr.
Senate Majority Floor Leader Lynn DeCoite
Senate Majority Whip Lorraine R. Inouye
Assistant Majority Whip Gilbert S.C. Keith-Agaran
Assistant Majority Whip Jarrett Keohokalole
Assistant Majority Whip Clarence K. Nishihara
Assistant Majority Whip Brian T. Taniguchi
Senator Laura Acasio
Senator Rosalyn H. Baker
Senator Stanley Chang
Senator Donovan Dela Cruz.
Senator Donna Mercado Kim
Senator Chris Lee
Senator Bennette E. Misalucha
Senator Sharon Moriwaki
Senator Karl Rhoads
Senator Joy A. San Buenaventura
Senator Maile S.L. Shimabukuro
Senator Glenn Wakai
Speaker Scott K. Saiki
Majority Leader Della Au Belatti
Majority Floor Leader Dee Morikawa
Representative Patrick Pihana Branco
Representative Linda Clark
Representative Luella Costales
Representative Sonny Ganaden
Representative Cedric Asuega Gates
Representative Mark J. Hashem
Representative Troy N. Hashimoto
Representative Daniel Holt
Representative Linda Ichiyama
Representative Greggor Ilagan
Representative Aaron Ling Johanson
Representative Jeanne Kapela
Representative Bertrand Kobayashi
Representative Dale T. Kobayashi
Representative Matthew S. LoPresti
Representative Nicole Lowen
Representative Sylvia Luke
Representative Lisa Marten
Representative Scot Z. Matayoshi
Representative Angus L.K. McKelvey
Representative Nadine Nakamura
Representative Mark M. Nakashima
Representative Scott Nishimoto
Representative Takashi Ohno
Representative Richard H.K. Onishi
Representative Amy A. Perruso
Representative Jackson D. Sayama
Representative Gregg Takayama
Representative Roy M. Takumi
Representative Adrian K. Tam
Representative David Tarnas
Representative Chris Todd
Representative James Kunane Tokioka
Representative Tina Wildberger
Representative Ryan I. Yamane
Representative Kyle T. Yamashita
Learn how State Senator Vincent Yano a Democrat and Republican State Representative Patricia Saiki passed the HAWAII FREEDOM OF CHOICE ACT, decriminalizing abortion in 1970.
U.S. Senator Mazie Hirono and Lt. Governor Candidate Sylvia Luke are standing with Rep. Jeanne Kapela, Senator Sharon Moriwaki, Senator Joy San Buenaventura and other endorsed candidates.
PATSY MINK PAC 2022 HONOREES:
Ellen Godbey Carson, Rebecca J.ʻI. Soon, Younghee Overly
The Women's Caucus of the Democratic Party of Hawaii is selling Patsy Mink Title IX 50th Anniversary T-shirts. Part of the proceeds will go to the Patsy Mink Education Foundation. The foundation provides scholarships to low-income women and children.
Patsy Takemoto Mink mobilized voters in 1954 to break plantation owners control of government. She was elected to the Territorial House in 1956. She was the only woman in the Territorial Senate in 1958. Patsy Mink represented Neighbor Islands and Rural Oahu in the US Congress from 1964-1977. She was elected to the Honolulu City Council in 1982 which she Chaired until 1985. In 1990 Patsy Mink was again elected to the U.S. House serving until her death until 2002.
Photo: Toddler Patsy, 1930. from "Fierce and Fearless by New York University Press.
Photographer: Ralph Crane LIFE Magazine, 1965.
Patsy Takemoto graduated from Maui High School in 1944.
She was both class Valedictorian and Student Body President.
Born on December 6, 1927 in Paia, Maui, Hawaii Territory to Suematsu Takemoto and Mitama Tateyama Takemoto. Both sets of her grandparents were immigrants from Japan who came to Hawaii to work on sugar plantations. Patsy Takemoto was a third-generation Japanese American. Growing up on Maui, she excelled in her studies. She was a Girl Scout and took piano and hula lessons.
She attended Wilson College in Pennsylvania, the University of Nebraska and graduated from the University of Hawaii in 1948 with a bachelor's in zoology and chemistry.
Law Degree from the University of Chicago in 1951.
Married John Mink in 1951.
Daughter Gwendolyn born in 1952.
In 1956, while living in Waipahu, Patsy Mink was elected to the Territory of Hawaii's House of Representatives.
In 1958, she was elected to the Territorial Senate.
When Hawaii became a state in 1959, Patsy Mink unsuccessfully ran for Congress.
Three years later, she won a seat back in the Hawaii State Senate in 1962.
In 1964, Patsy Mink was elected to the US House of Representatives, where she served in Congress for 12 years until 1977.
Mink ran for President of the United States in 1972, the first Asian American to run for a national office. In 1976, she ran for the US Senate, but was unsuccessful.
President Jimmy Carter appointed Patsy Mink to Assistant Secretary of State for Oceans and International, Environmental and Scientific Affairs from 1977-1978. Patsy Mink was President of Americans for Democratic Action from 1980-1982.
Returning to Hawaii, Patsy Mink was elected to the Honolulu City Council where she served from 1982-1986. She lost races for Governor of Hawaii in 1986 and Mayor of Honolulu in 1988 before she was again elected in 1990 to the U.S. House of Representatives. She served her second phase in Congress for another 12 years, until her death at age 74 of pneumonia on September 28, 2002 in Honolulu, Hawaii.
Maui High School with members of the Maui County Council in a ceremony honoring Congresswoman Patsy Mink from Maui.
At University of Hawaii Maui College book signing: Jane Yamashiro, Author Judy Wu, Ruth Mukai (Patsy Mink's cousin from Maui), Joyce Yamada (UHMC), Pat Gotschalk (AAUW Maui president), Shawna Pabingwit (UHMC).
Honolulu Mayor Rick Blandiardi signs a proclamation for Title IX with the American Association of University Women.
Hawaii County Mayor Mitch Roth with members of Zonta and the American Association of University Women.
Patsy Mink The Untold Story
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