Guam – The Legislative hearing room was packed Tuesday night with an overwhelming number of supporters of Senator Dennis Rodriguez’s Bill 323, the Parental Consent for Abortion Act.
Just as it’s name suggests the bill requires that minors get parental consent before they can get an abortion. The bill has already drawn controversy as pro-life advocate Tim Rohr believes there may be underground attempts to stifle the bill and keep it from actually hitting the session floor.
“Of course it’s so common sense minors have to get parental consent to get a physical or to play basketball or anything but not to get an abortion you know it’s pretty serious stuff,” said Rohr. The pro-life advocate is talking about bill 323 or the parental consent for abortion act. Rohr says the measure will also help catch sexual predators. “Some studies have shown that as much as 60 percent of teen abortions are co-erced, co-erced by a boyfriend often times an adult male where they have been abused and to cover their tracks they take them in and get their abortion. So this is actually a way of protecting the girls and tracking down some of these guys that are abusing them,” said Rohr.
While it may seem like a pretty straight forward and common sense bill to pass Rohr is concerned that there may be some behind the scenes moves to kill the measure. In his written testimony on the bill Rohr expresses concerns that the bill was sent to Vice-speaker BJ Cruz’s committee instead of Senator Dennis Rodriguez Jr.’s health committee. He says there have been “legislative machinations” employed to kill two other recent pro-life bills. “I’m just hoping that this time with the public being more aware maybe there will be a little bit more pressure where they won’t just try to slide this under the rug or mess with it like they’ve done the last bills,” said Rohr.
Rules committee chairman Senator Rory Respicio says there have been no attempts to stifle any of the pro-life bills, “I’m always available and happy to comment on the legislative process which I believe has been anything but above board nothing will happen in the legislature Clynt without 8 votes I’m just one vote,” said Senator Respicio adding, “Every bill eventually makes it’s date to the session agenda.” 1
Lawmakers began receiving testimony on this bill at six pm in the legislature’s public hearing room.