Republican Sen. Thomas Fisher held a press conference on May 1 at his senatorial office in Hagatna to discuss his “You Decide” legislation which will allow the people of Guam to decide on whether abortion should be legal or not.
He claimed the bill has been mischaracterized as a referendum.
Instead, he clarified that Bill 106-37 is a legislative submission.
“Procedurally, what happens with a bill like this is it goes before the Legislative body and if it garners majority of the votes then the healthcare bill will appear on the ballot at the next general election which is going to be November 2024,” said Fisher. “I think it was a necessary decision. We have not proven particularly at the Guam Legislature the debt at resolving the question of reproductive health or abortion rights. So, we’re going to resolve it. I hope through a legislative submission that will go to the people of Guam to decide on the question.”
He said that this bill is neutral and it takes no position.
“As to the question of whether or not abortion should be allowed, whether or not if it is allowed, what restrictions should apply,” Fisher said.
Meanwhile, Jayne Flores, the director of the Bureau of Women’s Affairs, said, “Bill 106 is not necessary. Abortion is legal on Guam. We do not need a community vote to tell a person what they can or cannot do with regard to their own personal reproductive health decisions.”
She also said, “Well the stance of the Leon Guerrero-Tenorio administration has always been that reproductive healthcare choices whatever those choices may be including abortion are private personal decisions that a person should make with the consultation with the physician and whoever else they deem may be important in making that decision with them. It should not be a community decision and personal private health care should not be up for a community vote.”
It was introduced on April 28 and is co-sponsored by Democrat Vice Speaker Tina Barnes.
Although Fisher is receiving pushback from Flores, he thinks the bill will become Guam law.
“I do think it will pass,” Fisher said. “I think it will get significant support from both sides of the aisle. I have talked to some of my colleagues from both sides of the aisle. They understand the purpose of the law and I think they are contemplating how they want to proceed on it but we will be able to gather the eight votes plus necessary to bring this to the people.”