Archbishop disappointed over court’s ‘tele-abortion’ decision

Archbishop Michael J. Byrnes (PNC file photo)

Archbishop Michael Byrnes has expressed disappointment over Judge Frances Tydingco-Gatewood’s decision allowing so-called “tele-abortions,” describing it as another blow to opponents of abortion.

Byrnes said the judge’s decision opens the door to so-called ‘tele-medicine’ which would assist women and girls locally in procuring abortions guided remotely by doctors from afar. He said the judge’s ruling grants a preliminary injunction on local laws that had made it more difficult for women to seek abortions.

“It won’t be the last setback for all in Guam who recognize the urgent need to stand up for our helpless brothers and sisters in the womb,” the Archbishop said in a pastoral letter.

He commended those who fight for the lives of our unborn children, including members of the Guam Catholic Pro-Life Committee, the Esperansa Project, Knights of Columbus and those from other religious denominations. Byrnes said the Safe Haven organization also provides invaluable assistance to pregnant women and girls in Guam as well as Ohalaˈ Adoptions, which offers a compassionate option through adoption while “bringing peace, hope, and stability to the women and children of Guam.”

“We are naturally disappointed and upset about this latest legal effort that impedes the work to protect the unborn. However, especially for we baptized children of God, remember that our hope is forever in our Lord. As now Saint John Paul II, urged, “Do not abandon yourselves to despair. We are the Easter people and hallelujah is our song,” Archbishop Byrnes said.

He added: “We must persist in defending the lives of our unborn. Pray fervently, speak up, push for pro-life legislation and join voices and efforts together. I recognize that we, the Church must do much more to bring light to this atrocity of abortion. I urge our priests to more vigorously and frequently speak about the grave evil of abortion at their Masses, gatherings, and CCD classes. Teachers in our schools and parishes, make the teachings about the grave sin of abortion a regular activity with your students. Families and friends, the call to protect the sanctity of life is yours as well. Speak to one another, counsel the wayward.”