Senators reactions to Guam Heartbeat Act

Legislature seal. (PNC file photo)

During yesterday’s hearing, lawmakers who are in support and not in support shared their testimony with their colleagues

Senator Telo Taitague went on to correct that misconception about the bill. For example, she mentions that it is false that a woman will die from illegal abolition so Guam needs to provide access to a safe abortion she adds that the fact of the matter is that when a woman has an abortion she is putting herself at risk of severe complications including death, additional Senator Taituge says that woman who’s had an abortion is at a higher risk of committing suicide, higher infertility rate, has a higher risk of pregnancy loss and has existing damage to their internal organs

Additionally, Taitague, says that this bill is not unconstitutional. She says, “This bill is unconstitutional and violates a woman’s constitutional right, this is false. The United States Constitution and the Organic Act protect activities that involve government actions that prevent one of its citizens. The Guam Heartbeat Act places the authority to resolve issues relating to abortion into the hands of private citizens and totally restricts any government action against a physician or a person that performs or induces an abortion.”

Taitague expressed that this act is constitutional because it does not provide any authority to the government.

Furthermore, Senator Chris Duenas made it clear that it is never right to take the life of a vulnerable, innocent, and helpless human being and asked the legislature to vote in the affirmative of the Bill.

In contrast to her colleagues, Senator Mary Camacho Torres although she is known to be Pro-Life, after reviewing the bill and statements being made by the community the bill she realized that although many believe life begins at conception, the bill does not say that and the bill does not address the issues at hand. “Many discuss the fight of Guam’s forgotten children, but this bill doesn’t address that,” Torres continued, “A pro-life ethic would make prenatal care more accessible, overhaul our foster care system, bolster adoption, subsidized child care, and eradicate homelessness, but this bill does none of that.”

She further claims that this bill pins neighbor against neighbor in exchange for cash prices, it’s a bounty bill, “Is that really the kind of community we want our island to have, I don’t think it’s the Chamorro way. These are not our core values of respetu, reciprocity, and love, nor the way of Christ the Christian way, to inspire fear to helpless mothers, to sew division between neighbors to condemn the vulnerable from a place of privilege and power.”

Bill 291 is not a pro-life bill, it appears to be merely a pro-lawsuit bill added Torres.

Moreover, Senator Clynt Ridgell has made it a point to discuss how the original Texas heartbeat bill was modeled to be a loophole for Roe V. Wade, but with the overturning of the landmark case, Ridgell further says that he does not see any reason for the Bill.

He believes that this bill allows people to sue other people recklessly such as parents who may sue their child for having an abortion for money or brothers and sisters, and even some people who just want money and don’t believe in the cause.

Lastly, Ridgell identifies the exclusion of the act of incest as well as rape and criminal sexual conduct within the bill, “For the record, I am for a woman’s right to choose. In addition for the record, I am against this bill not only because it doesn’t afford that right to choose, but it takes us down a completely different direction.”

Before the Heartbeat Act can be voted on, other things on the legislature’s agenda must be addressed.

The story is ongoing.

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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.