Senator Nelson clarifies Guam Heartbeat Act

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With the recent announcement of Bill 291-36 which is also known as the Guam Heartbeat Act, the sponsor of the bill, Senator Telena Nelson, had released clarifications for some confusion regarding the intent of the bill.

PNCS Althea Engman has more on this story

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Among others Nelson has clarified the thought of our island having of the highest per-
capita rates of rape and why there is no exception to rape and incest? In her response, Nelson said that “Any woman who has been raped has suffered horrific violence and injustices. The rapist should always be held accountable for their actions. However, abortion does not undo the violence; it brings another form of violence and adds trauma to the victim.”

She also wanted to clarify people’s thoughts of when this bill does pass, women will have to perform illegal and unsafe abortions rather than prociding safe access to that procedure which her response was “When a woman has an abortion, she is at risk for severe complications including death. Women who have abortions have an increased risk of suicide, infertility, pregnancy loss, and damage to internal organs.”

She assures that this does not violate a woman’s constitutional rights , she added that “The Guam Heartbeat Act places the authority to resolve issues related to abortion into the hands of private citizens and totally restricts any government action against a physician or person that performs or induces an abortion. The Act is constitutional because it provides no authority to the government, leaving enforcement for violations of the Act in the hands of private citizens.”

She also clarified things such as women who perform abortions cannot be sued or arrested, women cannot be forced to give birth if the child is at risk to her health and how guam still has abortion issues on island stating that a doctor did care for a woman who had complications from a failed abortion by another doctor here in Guam in 2021.

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Althea Engman or as she is referred to as Thea joined the PNC team in August of 2021 as their youngest reporter and after a few months she was given the opportunity to be their weather girl. She currently attends the University of Guam while working at Sorenson. Her hobbies include dancing, creating content for social media, as well modeling on the side, she also is a big dog lover. Before working for PNC, she didn’t think about pursuing a career in journalism or a related field but it has helped her figure out a better career path. She covers a wide variety of news beats with a focus on legislation and lifestyle.