Guam – Governor Eddie Calvo has called a Special Session to ask Senators to vote on Bill #52, the informed consent on abortion bill.
The Governor accused the Democratic Majority of “stalling” and playing “political games” over the bill. He also accuses Rules Committee Chair Senator Rory Respicio of placing the measure in “legislative limbo” and of changing the meaning of the bill.
Senator Rodriguez formally reported the bill out of his Committee this morning.
Committee members voting to pass the bill were Senators Rodriguez, Palacios, Muna Barnes, Respicio, Tony Ada, Duenas. Senator Tom Ada and Yamashita merely voted to report Bill #52 out of Committee.
Although Rodriguez said that Speaker Won Pat had assured him that the measure would be placed on the agenda for the November 13th Session, the Governor’s decision to call the Special Session on Wednesday means that is when the vote will occur.
The Governor introduced the Bill in January of 2011, shortly after he took office. But the measure under-went some changes which its supporters said altered the intent of the bill. Senator Rodriguez brought the measure back to his Committee in April of 2011 where it was re-worked until it was finally reported out Monday, after more than a year and a half.
The Governor is accusing the democratic leadership, in particular Rules Committee Chair Senator Rory Respicio, of stalling the measure, and playing politics.
Respicio rejects the charge saying the bill has been in Senator Rodriguez’s Committee for a year and a half and he counters that it is the Governor who is playing politics now.
READ the release from the Governor’s Office below:
Governor tired of political games, stall tactics, schedules session for Wednesday morning; thanks Rodriguez for reporting bill out today
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
October 22, 2012
After more than a year of stalling and political games from the Democrat majority, Governor Eddie Baza Calvo has called the legislature into special session to address Substitute Bill No. 52-31, The Women’s Reproductive Health Information Act of 2011. In a letter to Speaker Judi Won Pat, Governor Calvo restates the importance of this bill, which was introduced just 22 days after the 31st Guam Legislature convened, but has yet been addressed on the session floor. You can read the letter in its entirety by clicking here.
The Governor introduced the bill on January 25, 2011, only to have it placed in legislative limbo by the legislature’s Rules Chairman and substantively changed by him. Sen. Dennis Rodriguez, Jr., the health chairman, maneuvered the bill back out, and changed it back to its original intent. Sen. Rodriguez reported the bill out of his committee this morning.
“According to the bills listed on your website, 474 more bills have been introduced since that time, several of which are for zoning. One of the bills introduced appropriated bond proceeds to purchase a beach. I’d hardly call such time spent crafting these provisions as useful to the people, or beneficial to their quality of life,” Governor Calvo wrote.
The measure will require women receive important information about the abortion procedure she is contemplating, information that may not be provided now. This information ranges from the procedure itself to assistance, options, and rights women have. Options include adoption, for which there is already a wait list. Women will also be advised of their right to report men who have abused, raped, or enslaved them, and are subsequently forcing them to receive an abortion.
“Indeed, there is more instruction about how to administer a dog’s heartworm medication than there is about this extremely invasive procedure. It is almost as though the system is designed to promote abortion by robbing women of the information they need to make the most informed decision,” Governor Calvo wrote. “I am just grateful to the health committee chairman, Senator Dennis Rodriguez, Jr. for his courage and diligence. This bill has been resurrected because of his effort and the effort of those advocating for life in our community.”
Session is scheduled for 10 a.m. on Wednesday, October 24.