Health Committee reports out Bill 54 - KUAM.com-KUAM News: On Air. Online. On Demand.

Health Committee reports out Bill 54

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by Mindy Aguon

Guam - More than 18 months after the bill was first introduced, the Health Committee has finally reported Bill 54 out to the Rules Committee. Health Committee chair Senator Frank Aguon, Jr. made the announcement today after receiving the attorney general's opinion on the constitutionality of the bill, also known as the Women's Reproductive Health Information Act of 2009. 

The AG's opinion states that the laws requiring information consent and 24-hour waiting periods prior to an abortion have been upheld by the U.S. Supreme Court. Deputy AG Patrick Mason did note that lawmakers may want to amend the proposed language with regard to charging an individual for providing the information and certification required by the law.  

The Esperansa Group has been asking lawmakers to take action on the bill for months, and spokesperson Dr. Marjorie DeBenedictus said, "I am glad that we finally got the go ahead even though there was no issue in the first place. And so we hope that Bill 54 passes, and passing Bill 54 puts Guam in step with laws that have been in affect in the United States for the past 18 years now."

Senator Aguon says now that they've received the necessary opinion, lawmakers can now deliberate on the bill on session floor, something the Esperansa pro-life group has been asking them to do for months.

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