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Church says court ruling 'not a definitive success' in the endless fight against abortion on Guam

By Pacific Island Times News Staff

Pro-life advocates scored only a partial victory when an appeals court reinstated a barrier to abortion on Guam, according to the Archdiocese of Agaña.

"Tragically, abortion remains legal on Guam. The people, groups and forces who insist that the killing of innocent babies in the womb is a human right – even a necessary or good thing – are relentless,” Father Romeo D. Convocar, apostolic administrator of the archdiocese.

The church issued the statement in response to the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals' recent ruling that voided a preliminary injunction on the enforcement of a Guam law requiring in-person consultations before obtaining an abortion.

Convocar said the court's decision was encouraging as it will help limit abortions on Guam and save women "from lifetimes of regret."


He argued that in-person contact helps women who are “under distress and are in need of face-to-face consultation with vital, complete information about such a procedure that is extremely life-altering, often disastrous for them, aside from the devastation of the fetus.”

“This face-to-face consultation can often save women and girls from a lifetime of regret. We care not only for the unborn but for the mother, as well," the church leader said.

However, Convocar said the court ruling "does not signal definitive success in the never-ending pro-life fight to save the unborn.”

“We pray that hearts will be transformed, eyes will be opened and that all human beings will understand that the miracle of life that God has bestowed to each of us is a fundamental grace and right that all people deserve – most definitely, the smallest of our brothers and sisters in the womb,” he added.


The American Civil Liberties Union, the plaintiff in the lawsuit, is expected to elevate the case to the U.S. Supreme Court.

In the 37th Guam Legislature, Sen. William Parkinson filed a bill that would eliminate the requirement for in-person consultation before receiving an abortion, repealing a public law that was just reinstated by the Ninth Circuit court.

Separately, Attorney General Douglas Moylan has also requested a court to allow him to enforce a total abortion ban passed in 1990, which was invalid at the time it was enacted and quickly struck down after a challenge filed by the ACLU and Anita Arriola, a Guam-based attorney.

The federal district court in Guam has denied Moylan's request in March. Such a decision is currently on appeal at the Ninth Circuit Court, where proceedings are ongoing.


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