Guam – Dr. Marjorie DeBenedictis, the spokesperson for the Esperansa Project, is encouraged by the recent news that Bill 54 – THE WOMEN’S REPRODUCTIVE HEALTH ACT of 2009 has received a favorable opinion from the Attorney General and was subsequently reported out of Committee.
“We just regret that we had to go public about this and force Senator Aguon to submit the bill for the AG’s review nearly 18 months after the introduction of the bill,” said DeBenedictis. “The AG’s opinion is dated October 26 and Senator Aguon’s request is dated September 29. Obviously the AG was able to make quick work of the request and there was no need for this long battle to move the bill forward.”
DeBenedictis added that she hopes the legislature will consider the amendments Esperansa recommended at the public hearing which address the funding issues in the bill.
“Currently the burden of producing the educational materials required by the bill falls to the People of Guam,” DeBenedictis said. “However we believe that the abortion industry should pay for its own legally mandated materials – the same as any other industry might be required to do.”
DeBenedictis also added that while she is grateful that Bill 54 has finally been allowed to proceed, she is wondering whatever happened to Bill 309. Bill 309 would require that normal medical attention be given to a child that survives a failed abortion. Currently such children can be killed or left to die.
“There are no constitutional issues with Bill 309 since it was modeled on the Federal Born Alive Infant Protection Act”, said DeBenedictis. “We would like to know why Senator Aguon hasn’t even addressed this bill yet in Committee.”
DeBenedictis is requesting that Senator Aguon’s Committee report out Bill 309 immediately and place it on the agenda for the next legislative session. DeBenedictis encourages the public to learn more about both bills at its website Esperansa.org.