Guam – Senators Rory Respicio and Frank Aguon Jr. are defending their handling of an anti-abortion bill that would force women seeking to terminate their pregnancies to wait 24 hours before doing it. Their responses come after the Esperansa project Thursday criticised the lawmakers for stalling on passage of the bill.
Esperansa Spokesperson Dr. Majorie DeBenedictis wants to see the Woman’s Reproductive Health Information Act [Bill 54] make it to the legislature floor for a vote. “I really want this bill to pass. I think its an important bill for women’s health and I think its an important bill for people considering abortion and I think it will help them make the right decision,” she said.
Among other requirements, the bill mandates a 24 hour waiting period before a woman goes through with a decision to have an abortion.
During a news conference Thursday DeBenedictis criticised lawmakers, Senators Aguon and Respico in particular, for stalling on the bill.
But Health Committee Chair Aguon told PNC News that he sent a letter to the Attorney General asking for a legal opinion based on the constitutionality of Bill 54.
DeBendictis responds that she doesn’t understand why the AG needs to get involved. And she says emphasized that in her opinion the bill is not an anti-abortion bill.
Chair on Rules Senator Rory Respecio disagrees. He said the bill may be unconstitutional and that the Attorney General must be consulted, as the AG often is, to determine whether or not the proposed bill is lawful.