Guam – The Esperansa Project issued the following release in response to Governor Felix Camacho decision to veto Bill 54, the informed consent on abortion bil. The statement is reprinted below. Dr. Marjorie DeBenedictis, spokesperson for The Esperansa Project, wishes to express her thanks to Governor Camacho for his veto of Bill 54.
DeBenedictis said in a recent press release, “We realize that there was some risk for the Governor in vetoing Bill 54 because most of the public was probably not aware that what was initially a pro-life bill, had been altered by the Democratic Majority to actually promote abortion instead.”
DeBenedictis, expressed concern that since the bill in its original form had received a lot of publicity in recent weeks, the Governor could be seen as vetoing for what most people still thought was pro-life legislation. She also expressed concern over the legality of the substitute bill.
“Section 5.04 of the Legislature’s Standing Rules states that a substitute bill must relate to the same subject as the original bill,” said DeBenedictis. “The amendments made to the original bill altered the substance and intent of the bill so drastically that a case could be made that the Democratic Majority, and specifically the Committee on Rules under Senator Rory Respicio, violated the Rules requiring germaneness in the substitute bill.”
DeBenedictis also said that she was astounded that the bill sent to the floor for discussion on November 26 was not the bill that was reported out of the Committee on Health on November 5 which had incorporated the Attorney General’s recommendations.
“Apparently the Committee on Rules completely ignored the Attorney General’s favorable opinion of the original bill,” said DeBenedictis, “and crafted a completely different bill that turned a pro-life bill into a pro-abortion bill, and then sent it to the floor.
“I guess we now know why Senator Guthertz told the Rotary Club of Tumon Bay at an Oct. 26 meeting that there would not be ‘any action on this bill until after the election,’” added DeBenedictis. “Guthertz probably knew that the plan was to destroy the bill and that such action would have meant a political liability before the election.”
DeBenedictis went on to add, “The action of the Democratic Majority, and specifically Senator Respicio and the Committee on Rules, is a colossal insult to the People of Guam and a mockery to our democratic process,” she stated.
“Bill 54 had legislative precedent in 30 plus states, was supported by well-founded U.S. Supreme Court rulings, and had a clean bill of health from our own Attorney General. Yet, Senators Respicio, Pangelinan, and Barnes set themselves up as their own Supreme Court and claimed that the language of Bill 54 was unconstitutional.”
“We are thankful that Governor Camacho did not fall for their ruse,” DeBenedictis concluded. We encourage the public to hold the perpetrators of this scam accountable. We are only saddened that thanks to the likes of Senators Respicio, Pangelinan, Aguon and Barnes, Guam continues to host the most unregulated abortion industry in the nation.