In “Health, not politics, should drive medical decisions” (The Guam Daily Post, Letter to the Editor, Apr. 11, 2022), the authors, Anita Arriola and 12 other women, began their letter with: “It’s like clockwork: you can count on it. Virtually every election year one or more senators copy an anti-abortion bill, ... slap their names on it, and introduce it in the Guam Legislature.”

As the saying goes: you are welcome to your own opinion but not your own facts.

The last “anti-abortion bill” introduced by a Guam lawmaker was in 2016, an election year, but given it was introduced in January, nearly a year before the election, it hardly qualifies as a campaign move.

Moreover, the 2016 bill (231-33) was not so much an anti-abortion bill as it was a pro-mother bill. The Unborn Victims of Violence Act sought to criminalize harming or killing the child in the womb in acts of violence against the mother. Opponents opposed it because the bill defined an unborn child as a human being.

Closer to an election, two senators introduced Bill 412-32 in October 2014. However, all that bill did was add a gestational age reporting requirement to the already decades-old abortion reporting statute.

In fact, in order to find any truth to the authors’ assertion, we have to go back nearly fourteen years to 2008 to find a real “anti-abortion bill” that was introduced anywhere near an election.

Bill 374, introduced in October 2008, sought to ban partial-birth abortion. Because of the gruesome nature of the procedure, even pro-abortion lawmakers supported the bill and it passed unanimously.

Arriola, et al., go on to say: “We will fight to protect access to abortion …”

Meanwhile, two of Arriola's co-authors are well-known obstetricians/gynecologists who decline to perform abortions, functionally forcing the women Arriola and her group portend to care about to procure off-island chemical abortions via telemedicine.

The group ends their letter by calling the introduction of the latest abortion bill “shameless pandering for votes to get reelected.”

Here, they really miss the mark. Nothing could be further from the truth. In the last gubernatorial election, three pro-life candidates (Aguon, Rodriguez, and Tenorio) were roundly trounced at the ballot box by Guam’s staunchest and most public proponent of abortion.

Given the outcome of that election, apparently, abortion retains majority support among Guam’s electorate and all Arriola’s group needs to do is get their doctor friends to do them.


Tim Rohr is a resident of Hågat.

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