Esperansa Project Releases Candidate Survey Results

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Guam – The Esperansa Project released its survey results from a questionnaire that it distributed last week to all Gubernatorial and Senatorial candidates.

The Esperansa Project is a conservative,  Guam-based group of concerned citizens that opposes abortion and same sex unions.

See Esperansa Project website

The Esperansa Project’s survey asked for yes, nor, or no answers to a list of questions about abortion, same-sex unions, divorce laws, and the high rate of non-marital births on Guam.

According to a release from the group:

Esperansa volunteers followed up with a phone call to confirm receipt of the survey.

“We found most of the candidates to be very cooperative”, said Dr. Marjorie DeBenedictis, the survey coordinator and project spokesperson. “A few were evasive and some did not return our calls, but overall we are very satisfied with the response.”

25 of 38 senatorial candidates and 4 of the 6 candidates for Governor and Lt. Governor returned the survey. “We really respect those candidates who are willing to take a stand on tough moral issues and are not afraid to put that stand in writing regardless of the political fallout,” said DeBenedictis. “I do not know why some chose not to participate, but we thank the ones who respected our request.”

“Some candidates expressed a desire to more fully explain their positions but this particular survey was not designed as a forum. Being able to answer a straight yes or no on serious issues was part of what we are looking for in a candidate,” added DeBenedictis, “and we hope to host a forum before the general election that will allow candidates to address these issues beyond just their yes or no answers.”

ESPERANSA PROJECT CANDIDATE SURVEY 2010 RESULTS

No. 1 Would you be in favor of a law requiring a mother seeking an abortion to be advised of the possible physical and psychological risks associated with the abortion procedure? (28 states have this requirement.)

Yes: Tom Ada, Tony Ada, J. Benavente, F. Blas, E. Calvo, B.J. Cruz, Michael Cruz, P. Cruz, J. Diaz, A. Dominguez, C. Duenas, J. Espaldon, V. Gaza, J. Guthertz, R. Haddock, V. Harper, D. Moylan, T. Muna-Barnes, A. Palacios, P. Reyes, D. Rodriguez, Alan Salas (write-in), M. Silva Taijeron, T. Taitague, W. Taitague, M. Taitano, R. Tenorio, S. Thomas-Nededog, T. Torres, A. Yamashita

No: none

No Comment: J. San Agustin

No. 2 Would you be in favor of a law requiring a mother seeking an abortion to be advised of alternatives to abortion, such as counseling, financial assistance, and adoption? (34 states have this requirement .)

Yes: Tom Ada, Tony Ada, J. Benavente, F. Blas, E. Calvo, B.J. Cruz, Michael Cruz, P. Cruz, J. Diaz, A. Dominguez, C. Duenas, J. Espaldon, V. Gaza, J. Guthertz, R. Haddock, V. Harper, D. Moylan, T. Muna-Barnes, A. Palacios, P. Reyes, D. Rodriguez, Alan Salas (write-in), M. Silva Taijeron, T. Taitague, W. Taitague, M. Taitano, R. Tenorio, S. Thomas-Nededog, T. Torres, A Yamashita

No: none

No Comment: J. San Agustin

No. 3 Would you be in favor of a law requiring a 24 hour waiting period between the time a woman seeking an abortion is first advised of the possible risks and alternatives to abortion and the abortion procedure? (25 states have this requirement.)

Yes: Tom Ada, Tony Ada, J. Benavente, F. Blas, E. Calvo, B.J. Cruz, Michael Cruz, P. Cruz, J. Diaz, A. Dominguez, C. Duenas, J. Espaldon, V. Gaza, J. Guthertz, R. Haddock, V. Harper, D. Moylan, T. Muna-Barnes, A. Palacios, P. Reyes, D. Rodriguez, Alan Salas (write-in), M. Silva Taijeron, T. Taitague, W. Taitague, M. Taitano, R. Tenorio, S. Thomas-Nededog, T. Torres, A. Yamashita

No: none

No Comment: J. San Agustin

No. 4 Would you be in favor of a law requiring information about ultrasound services be provided to a mother seeking an abortion? (8 states have this requirement)

Yes: Tom Ada, Tony Ada, J. Benavente, F. Blas, E. Calvo, B. J. Cruz, Michael Cruz, P. Cruz, J. Diaz, A. Dominguez, J. Espaldon, V. Gaza, R. Haddock, V. Harper, D. Moylan, A. Palacios, P. Reyes, D. Rodriguez, Alan Salas (write-in), M. Silva Taijeron, T. Taitague, W. Taitague, M. Taitano, R. Tenorio, S. Thomas-Nededog, A. Yamashita

No: none

No Comment: C. Duenas, T. Muna-Barnes, J. San Agustin, T. Torres

No. 5 Would you be in favor of a law which requires medically accurate information describing the unborn child be provided to a mother seeking an abortion? (31 states have this.)

Yes: Tom Ada, J. Benavente, F. Blas, E. Calvo, B.J. Cruz, Michael Cruz, P. Cruz, J. Diaz, A. Dominguez, C. Duenas, J. Espaldon, V. Gaza, R. Haddock, V. Harper, D. Moylan, A. Palacios, P. Reyes, D. Rodriguez, Alan Salas (write-in), M. Silva Taijeron, T. Taitague, W. Taitague, M. Taitano, R. Tenorio, S. Thomas-Nededog, T. Torres, A. Yamashita

No: Tony Ada

No Comment: T. Muna-Barnes, J. San Agustin

No. 6 Would you be in favor of a law which would require that a mother provide written informed consent prior to an abortion procedure? (34 states have this.)

Yes: Tom Ada, Tony Ada, J. Benavente, F. Blas, E. Calvo, B. J. Cruz, Michael Cruz, P. Cruz, J. Diaz, A. Dominguez, C. Duenas, J. Espaldon, V. Gaza, R. Haddock, V. Harper, D. Moylan, A. Palacios, P. Reyes, D. Rodriguez, Alan Salas (write-in), M. Silva Taijeron, T. Taitague, W. Taitague, R. Tenorio, S. Thomas-Nededog, A. Yamashita

No: none

No Comment: T. Muna-Barnes, J. San Agustin, T. Torres

No. 7 Would you be in favor of a law which would require medically appropriate medical care for a child that survives an abortion? (Note: see Bill 309 – which has yet to go to a vote)

Yes: Tom Ada, Tony Ada, J. Benavente, F. Blas, E. Calvo, Michael Cruz, P. Cruz, J. Diaz, A. Dominguez, C. Duenas, J. Espaldon, V. Gaza, J. Guthertz, R. Haddock, D. Moylan, T. Muna-Barnes, A. Palacios, P. Reyes, D. Rodriguez, Alan Salas (write-in), M. Silva Taijeron, T. Taitague, W. Taitague, M. Taitano, R. Tenorio, S. Thomas-Nededog, T. Torres

No: none

No Comment: V. Harper, J. San Agustin, A. Yamashita

No. 8 Would you be in favor of a law which would require more diligent screening for mothers seeking an abortion to insure that the abortion is not coerced, unsafe, or unnecessary?

Yes: Tony Ada, J. Benavente, E. Calvo, B. J. Cruz, Michael Cruz, J. Diaz, A. Dominguez, C. Duenas, V. Gaza, R. Haddock, V. Harper, D. Moylan, T. Muna-Barnes, A. Palacios, P. Reyes, D. Rodriguez, Alan Salas (write-in) M. Silva Taijeron, T. Taitague, W. Taitague, M. Taitano, R. Tenorio, S. Thomas-Nededog, A. Yamashita

No: Tom Ada

No Comment: F. Blas, J. Espaldon, J. San Agustin, T. Torres

No. 9 At least one state has proposed legislation to ban the decapitation and crushing of the skull of the unborn child, a practice common in an abortion procedure known as Dilation & Extraction. According to Guam Medical Records, this procedure was employed 39 times over the last two years. Would you be in favor of a law banning the decapitation of unborn children and the crushing of their skulls? (Note – see North Dakota)

Yes: Tom Ada, Tony Ada, J. Benavente, F. Blas, E. Calvo, B.J. Cruz, Michael Cruz, J. Diaz, A. Dominguez, C. Duenas, J. Espaldon, V. Gaza, J. Guthertz, R. Haddock, V. Harper, D. Moylan, T. Muna-Barnes, A. Palacios, P. Reyes, D. Rodriguez, Alan Salas (write-in), M. Silva Taijeron, T. Taitague, W.
Taitague, M. Taitano, R. Tenorio, S. Thomas-Nededog, T. Torres

No:  none

No Comment: J. San Agustin, A. Yamashita

No. 10  Would you be in favor of a law which allows a woman to sue the abortionist for psychological injury after an abortion? (Note: At least one state, Nebraska, allows this)

Yes: E. Calvo, Michael Cruz, J. Diaz, A. Dominguez, V. Gaza, R. Haddock, A. Palacios, D. Rodriguez, Alan Salas (write-in) T. Taitague, W. Taitague, R. Tenorio

No: Tom Ada, Tony Ada, J. Benavente, F. Blas, B. J. Cruz, J. Espaldon, V. Harper, D. Moylan, T. Muna-Barnes, P. Reyes, M. Silva Taijeron, M. Taitano, S. Thomas-Nededog, A. Yamashita

No Comment: C. Duenas, J. San Agustin, T. Torres

No. 11 It is now medically established that an unborn child can feel pain by 20 weeks gestation. Because we now know that a child suffers when it is being dismembered, would you be in favor of a law that would ban abortions after 20 weeks except to save the life of the mother or to prevent substantial physical impairment to the mother? (Note: At least one state, Nebraska, bans abortions after 20 weeks with the exception mentioned.)

Yes: Tony Ada, J. Benavente, F. Blas, E. Calvo, B. J. Cruz, Michael Cruz, J. Diaz, A. Dominguez, J. Espaldon, V. Gaza, J. Guthertz, R. Haddock, V. Harper, D. Moylan, T. Muna-Barnes, P. Reyes, D. Rodriguez, Alan Salas (write-in), M. Silva Taijeron, T. Taitague, W. Taitague, M. Taitano, R. Tenorio, S. Thomas-Nededog, T. Torres, A. Yamashita

No: Tom Ada

No Comment: C. Duenas, A. Palacios, J. San Agustin

No. 12   If banning abortions on Guam after 20 weeks is not possible, would you be in favor of a law which would require the use of fetal anesthesia on all abortions on unborn children who have reached 20 weeks of gestational age in order to eliminate or at least minimize the pain we now know they feel?

Yes: Tony Ada, J. Benavente, F. Blas, E. Calvo, B. J. Cruz, Michael Cruz, J. Diaz, A. Dominguez, J. Espaldon, V. Gaza, J. Guthertz, R. Haddock, V. Harper, D. Moylan, T. Muna-Barnes, A. Palacios, P. Reyes, D. Rodriguez, Alan Salas (write-in) M. Silva Taijeron, T. Taitague, W. Taitague, M. Taitano, R. Tenorio, S. Thomas-Nededog, T. Torres, A. Yamashita

No: Tom Ada

No Comment: C. Duenas, J. San Agustin

No. 13  38 states prohibit abortions after a specified point in pregnancy, most often fetal viability, which is now as early as 23 weeks – except when necessary to protect the woman’s life or health. Would you be in favor of a law mandating similar gestational limits to abortion on Guam?

Yes: Tony Ada, J. Benavente, F. Blas, E. Calvo, B.J. Cruz, Michael Cruz, J. Diaz, A. Dominguez, C. Duenas, J. Espaldon, V. Gaza, J. Guthertz, R. Haddock, V. Harper, D. Moylan, T. Muna-Barnes, P. Reyes, D. Rodriguez, Alan Salas (write-in), M. Silva Taijeron, T. Taitague, W. Taitague, M. Taitano, R. Tenorio, S. Thomas-Nededog, T. Torres, A. Yamashita

No: Tom Ada

No Comment: A. Palacios, J. San Agustin

No. 14 Guam Medical Records reports that over the last 2 years, 2/3, or the majority of all abortions were performed on Chamorro mothers. If elected would you be willing to introduce legislation and fund programs that would raise awareness about the high incidence rate of abortion among Chamorro mothers and its negative impact on the Chamorro people? (Note: 2008 and 2009 Abortion Reports) (see note 2 below)

Yes: J. Benavente, E. Calvo, Michael Cruz, J. Diaz, A. Dominguez, C. Duenas, V. Gaza, R. Haddock, V. Harper, D. Moylan, T. Muna-Barnes, A. Palacios, P. Reyes, D. Rodriguez, J. San Agustin, Alan Salas (write-in) M. Silva Taijeron, T. Taitague, W. Taitague, R. Tenorio, T. Torres
No: Tom Ada, Tony Ada, M. Taitano

No Comment: F. Blas, J. Espaldon, S. Thomas-Nededog, A. Yamashita

(No. 15 was deleted)

No. 16 Are you in favor of a law which would create a same-sex equivalent to marriage such as that proposed in Bill 185?

Yes: B. J. Cruz, J. Diaz, S. Thomas-Nededog, A. Yamashita

(The following candidates did not respond to the survey or skipped this question but indicated a “yes” vote as per the PDN Election Center: S. Dierking, C. Gutierrez-Ludwig, R. Respicio, J. Won Pat, D. Borja, S. Mabini. J. Carriaga indicated “yes” on his Facebook page – where he directed us. Frank Aguon, Jr. has indicated “yes” in his public support of Bill 185.)

No: Tom Ada, Tony Ada, J. Benavente, F. Blas, E. Calvo, Michael Cruz, C. Duenas, J. Espaldon, V. Gaza, J. Guthertz, R. Haddock, V. Harper, D. Moylan, T. Muna-Barnes, A. Palacios, P. Reyes, D. Rodriguez, J. San Agustin, Alan Salas (write-in), M. Silva Taijeron, T. Taitague, W. Taitague, M. Taitano, R. Tenorio, T. Torres

No Comment:  none

No. 17 Guam has some of the most liberal divorce laws in the world. According to DivorceMagazine.com Guam is ranked 2nd in the world for divorces per 1000 people per year. One legal referral website calls Guam an “overseas divorce paradise”. If elected, would you be in favor of introducing more restrictive divorce laws?

Yes: Tom Ada, J. Diaz, J. Benavente, F. Blas, E. Calvo, Michael Cruz, A. Dominguez, J. Espaldon, V. Gaza, D. Moyaln, D. Rodriguez, Alan Salas (write-in), J. San Agustin, W. Taitague, R. Tenorio, S. Thomas-Nededog

No: Tony Ada, R. Haddock, M. Silva Taijeron, M. Taitano, A. Yamashita No Comment: C. Duenas, V. Harper, T. Muna-Barnes, A. Palacios, P. Reyes, T. Taitague, T. Torres

No. 18 As of 2006, the last year for which the CDC has comparative records, the birthrate for non-marital births on Guam was 57.7% compared to a national average of 38.5%, or 1.5 times higher than the rest of the nation in spite of the mandatory sex education in public schools and high incidence rate of abortion on Guam. If elected, would you be in favor of abstinence education in public schools? (Note: CDC Report 2006)

Yes: Tom Ada, J. Diaz, J. Benavente, F. Blas, E. Calvo, Michael Cruz, C. Duenas, J. Espaldon, V. Gaza, J. Guthertz, R. Haddock, V. Harper, D. Moylan, T. Muna-Barnes, P. Reyes, D. Rodriguez, Alan Salas (write-in), J. San Agustin, T. Taitague, W. Taitague, R. Tenorio, S. Thomas-Nededog, A. Yamashita
No: Tony Ada, A. Dominguez, M. Taitano

No Comment: A. Palacios, M. Silva Taijeron, T. Torres

Notes:

1. Benjamin Cruz – mistakenly received a draft copy of the survey instead of the final copy. The draft copy contained a deleted question which threw off the numbering. We notified Mr. Cruz immediately of our error and took special care to make sure that his answers matched the questions despite the numbering issue. Also, the answer line to the question on providing medical care to a baby that survives an abortion was cut off. We emailed Mr. Cruz and offered him an opportunity to reply to the question.

2. Phillipe Cruz – email reply was cut off, received only answers for questions 1-7. We emailed a notice.

3.  Question No. 15 was deleted from the final survey draft.

4. Jonathan Carriaga emailed us lengthy letter which we cannot consider as participation in the survey

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THE ESPERANSA PROJECT

Editor’s note: The following is a copy of a survey that was sent on August 13, 2010 to each of the Guam 2010 Election Candidates. The purpose of the survey is to give voters a sense of the candidates’ stance on issues around life, marriage and family and its impact on our island community. Results of the survey will be published next weekend.

Dear Candidate:

Thank you for considering our request. Linal’a yan Esperansa, (“Life & Hope” aka The Esperansa Project), is a Guam-based concerned citizens group. While we focus on many issues regardinglife, marriage and the family… Continue reading » The Esperansa Project…