By Dave Andrusko
Editor’s note. After this story first appeared, the Guam legislature fell short of the 10 votes needed to override Gov. Guerrero’s veto. “You know during this journey, trying to try to advocate for life against ACLU against Planned Parenthood coming to Guam, they really stood by, they really stood by defending life,” said lead sponsor Sen. Telena Nelson. “Also the Guam Freedom Coalition– I met a lot of great people and I got to experience the commitment that they have to our community to try protect our children.”
As widely expected, Guam Gov. Lou Leon Guerrero vetoed the Guam Heartbeat Act (Bill 291) Wednesday evening. Guam has a unicameral legislature—meaning it has only one house (a Senate)—and 10 votes are needed to override Guerrero’s veto
Although the odds of an override—Bill 291 garnered only 8 of 15 votes—Sen. Telena Nelson, the lead sponsor of the bill, said she will ask her fellow lawmakers to override the veto.
“We need to make every effort to let the youth know that life is beautiful, that life is precious, that there’s hope in suffering, there’s hope in uncertainty,” Nelson said. “Maybe the hearts and minds of some people may change. There’s always a possibility for good to come through the darkness.”
The Pacific Daily News reported that Guerrero, a pro-abortion Democrat, claiming the enforcement provision would hurt women and “anyone who helps them” have an abortion. Joe Taitano II reported that “Heartbeat Act co-sponsor Sen. Chris Duenas said that fight will continue, though he believes the best avenue forward for abortion opponents is Guam’s 1990 abortion ban, Public Law 20-134, which is currently void and stuck in limbo.”
Guam, a U.S. island territory in Micronesia, in the Western Pacific, does not have any abortion facilities. “However, last year, the ACLU filed a lawsuit that could bring abortions back to the island,” Micaiah Bilger reported. “The Guardian reports the lawsuit challenges two Guam abortion regulations that require abortions to be done in a medical facility or hospital and a doctor to meet with the patient in person for an informed consent consultation at least 24 hours before the abortion.”