Does the 1990 Abortion ban still apply?


Is the 1990 abortion ban in effect on Guam? Discussion from Senator Will Parkinson on abortion access is expected tomorrow.

Senator Will Parkinson will hold a press conference tomorrow morning regarding where Guam stands on abortion access.

The previous statement is in response to AG Doug Moylan’s announcement that he is going to dissolve the injunction of Public Law 21-134 in the subsequent 30 days from his inauguration on January 2nd.

The 1990 law criminalized all abortions on Guam. Making it a third-degree felony to perform an abortion as well as a misdemeanor to either solicit any woman to have an abortion or to solicit or submit to an abortion.

“The U.S. Supreme Court said back in June that the two cases that were relied upon for the injunction (of the 1990 abortion ban) which was the Roe vs. Wade and the Planned Parenthood vs. Casey were no longer good law in the United States so they reversed them which made the Public Law that Belle Arriola and the Senators of the 1990 Guam Legislature, their law, come back into effect,” said AG Camacho in a NewsTalk K57 interview.

Since the overturn of Roe Vs. Wade, the legislature was unsure whether or not the 1990 abortion ban was in effect on the island or if there would be a need to hold a referendum as the law also deemed the use of one necessary to determine whether the law should be repealed or remain in effect during the next General Election.

Moylan said it is his duty to enforce laws enacted by the Guam Legislature and that he cannot simply ignore it given that the Courts system decided that those laws responsible for the injunction were no longer “good law”.

Senator Parkinson is inclined to let the court system decide if the law was ever “on the books” and if they do, he said there is still the option of repealing it.

The freshman Senator says, “in the meantime I’m actually inclined to allow the courts to sort this out because I agree with the former Attorney General’s position and attorney Arriola that when it was saved it was as if it was never put on the books in the first place so let’s operate from that idea.”

Further adding, “this law is so extreme, like one of the things that I’m a big advocate for is education and informing the public on what their options are, but you know the old law would make even free speech illegal.”

Meanwhile Moylan said that he is just doing his part in the judicial process by enforcing the dissolution, “the people of Guam wait for the legislature to speak, they wait for the executive branch to enforce laws and then they wait for the judiciary to interpret it. It’s a process, I’m just one part of this process, but when you have the Attorney General that ignores laws passed by the legislature like the other Attorney General did, the system will not work and that’s when you have problems.”

Adding, “I’ve said several times, I really don’t want to be involved in this abortion fight. Quite frankly I think women are the ones that should be voting on this and not the men.”