Jayne Flores, the director of the Bureau of Women’s Affairs, is working to equip the people of Guam with comprehensive sex education, accessible contraception, as well as abortion services.
While there has been a lot of controversy regarding bringing abortion services to the island, she says that providing that service is only a small part of a much larger initiative.
“What I would like to focus on is the broader picture. Because you know, it’s 2019, and abortion really should be an endgame option. What we need to focus on is more sexual activity responsibility. We have high rates of teen pregnancy, STDs, and sexual assault on this island. So we really need to have a conversation on this island about responsible sexual activity,” Flores said.
Flores acknowledges that this issue is multifaceted and that a considerable amount of the challenge would be addressing the different demographics that make up our community.
“For example, in Chuuk, there are no laws against sexual assault. But here, there are. But young men in Chuuk maybe don’t know that forcing yourself on someone isn’t acceptable and we have to figure out how to get that message across. What words can we say? We also need that for Chamorro men, too. All men. Doesn’t matter what your race is. But all men need to know that it’s not okay to sexually assault a woman. Or another man or anyone,” Flores said.