Legislation ensures abortion providers follow rules - KUAM.com-KUAM News: On Air. Online. On Demand.

Legislation ensures abortion providers follow rules

Posted: Updated:

Abortion is a sensitive issue, and while the decision to follow through with a pregnancy is up to the mother of the unborn child, the law dictates that the mother be given the opportunity to make an informed decision - a law that abortion providers are allegedly not following. In a response Wednesday afternoon, Senator Frank Aguon, Jr. introduced a bill relative to the matter.

Last year on Guam 209 abortions were conducted and of that number least 120 abortions were conducted after the passage of the Woman's Reproductive Health Information Act, which was introduced by Governor Eddie Calvo shortly after his inauguration. Esperansa Project co-founder Tim Rohr told KUAM News, "About two years ago after a five year battle to get an informed consent law in place about a little over a year ago it was finally implemented and what the law requires is that a woman seeking abortion has to be given a 24-hour waiting period a pamphlet an informational booklet to take home."

Before proceeding with the abortion the woman must signoff on a checklist certification acknowledging the risks and confirming that she has read the materials. The law then requires the abortion provider to submit the total number of checklist certifications received to Guam medical records on a monthly basis. But according to Rohr, that has not been happening.

He continued, "According to GMH or Guam medical records, the abortions performed they didn't turn in any numbers in for those checklist certifications. So, zero. However, vital statistics shows that in 2014, 209 abortions occurred approximately 120 of those were after the law was implemented." Not turning in the checklist documents is a violation of the law.

According to Rohr in a previous instance the Esperansa Project approached the Attorney General's Office with a similar complaint related to the failure to file abortion reports on time. Rohr says over 186 incidents were documented and presented to the AG's Office, yet nothing was done. He says the question becomes who will enforce the law? While the Department of Public Health has the job of administering the documentation to the abortion providers, he is unsure of Public Health's enforcement capabilities.

He is now calling on the government to do its job by enforcing the law, saying, "Now we are looking to go to the legislature and the current AG. I don't know what they are going to do - I do hope she does something about it because this was a couple of years ago before the current AG took office. Obviously, the AG will be made aware at this point we will also need to look at tightening up the legislation."

In fact, Senator Aguon on Wednesday introduced legislation relative to the enforcement of noncompliance with partial abortion and abortion reports. "It was brought to the attention of my office that abortion reporting requirements, which enumerates about 24 items, was not being properly provided to the Department of Public Health and Social Services," said the lawmaker.

Those items include the type of procedure, procedures done after the abortion and information provided to the woman before and after the procedure. The legislation not only proposes strict fines against abortion providers for non compliance anywhere between $10,000 to $100,000 for each offense, but also suspends the license of the abortion provider. Blas says that Public Health and the Attorney General's Office would be the enforcing arms of his bill.

  • NEWS HEADLINESMore>>

  • Find awesome deals on the Shop Guam app

    Find awesome deals on the Shop Guam app

    It's the biggest shopping event in the Western Pacific, and it's back just in time for your holiday shopping needs. Take advantage of the over 300 offers and discounts during the Guam Visitors Bureau 6th Annual Shop Guam e-Festival. The campaign kicked off earlier this month and runs through February 2018. Download the Shop Guam mobile app, available on both iOS and Android Devices, for more information.More >>
    It's the biggest shopping event in the Western Pacific, and it's back just in time for your holiday shopping needs. Take advantage of the over 300 offers and discounts during the Guam Visitors Bureau 6th Annual Shop Guam e-Festival. The campaign kicked off earlier this month and runs through February 2018. Download the Shop Guam mobile app, available on both iOS and Android Devices, for more information.More >>
  • GFD back up to 8 operable ambulances

    GFD back up to 8 operable ambulances

    They respond to thousands of calls a year. With that being said, mechanical failures will happen from time to time, but the Guam Fire Department is back up to 8 ambulances serving the island daily. According to Fire Chief Joey San Nicolas, currently there are 2 that are serving as back up and 3 that are still undergoing repairs. "There's a rare occurrence that multiple units go down at the same time mostly for the same reasons- which is really air con units in the patient compar...More >>
    They respond to thousands of calls a year. With that being said, mechanical failures will happen from time to time, but the Guam Fire Department is back up to 8 ambulances serving the island daily. According to Fire Chief Joey San Nicolas, currently there are 2 that are serving as back up and 3 that are still undergoing repairs. "There's a rare occurrence that multiple units go down at the same time mostly for the same reasons- which is really air con units in the patient compar...More >>
  • Government wants full payment from Ray Charles Tedtaotao Camacho

    Government wants full payment from Ray Charles Tedtaotao Camacho

    It's a $750 wedding ring, but its significance and meaning, priceless. While Ray Charles Tedtaotao Camacho is serving life behind bars, the government argues he's not being held fully accountable for his crimes. Five years ago, Camacho kidnapped and raped Monique Baza after she made a quick run to the bakery for bread. Though it's a minimal amount for the ring that was never recovered, defense has motioned to waive restitution.  The government, in its response this week, argued ...More >>
    It's a $750 wedding ring, but its significance and meaning, priceless. While Ray Charles Tedtaotao Camacho is serving life behind bars, the government argues he's not being held fully accountable for his crimes. Five years ago, Camacho kidnapped and raped Monique Baza after she made a quick run to the bakery for bread. Though it's a minimal amount for the ring that was never recovered, defense has motioned to waive restitution.  The government, in its response this week, argued ...More >>
Powered by Frankly