AP

Guam Legislature passes abortion ban; governor veto expected

Dec 16, 2022, 12:05 AM | Updated: 3:11 pm

HAGATNA, Guam (AP) — Guam’s Legislature on Friday passed a bill prohibiting most abortions, a measure modeled after a new Texas law that leaves enforcement up to private citizen lawsuits instead of criminal prosecution.

Gov. Lou Leon Guerrero, who favors abortion rights, is expected to veto the measure.

The Guam Heartbeat Act of 2022 passed the U.S. territory’s unicameral legislature with eight senators in favor and seven opposed, the Pacific Daily News reported. Supporters would need 10 votes to override any veto.

The measure would ban abortion in Guam once cardiac activity is detected, usually around six weeks. That’s before many people know they are pregnant.

It would allow any private citizen to sue Guam abortion providers who violate the law, as well as anyone who helps someone get the procedure. It doesn’t allow lawsuits against abortion patients.

Abortion is already difficult to obtain on Guam, a small, heavily Catholic island of about 170,000 people south of Japan.

The last physician who performed surgical abortions there retired in 2018. Two Guam-licensed doctors who live in Hawaii see patients virtually and mail them pills for medication abortions. But this alternative is available only until 11 weeks gestation.

Hawaii is the nearest U.S. state where abortion is legal, but it is 3,800 miles (6,100 kilometers) away. The flight to Honolulu takes nearly eight hours and is expensive.

Many states adopted tight restrictions on abortion after the U.S. Supreme Court in June overturned Roe v. Wade, the ruling that had guaranteed a federal right to abortion for 49 years. Other states, like California, have bolstered abortion access.

___

This article corrects the spelling of the governor’s last name to Guerrero, not Guerro.

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

AP

Image:The New York Giants' Willie Mays poses for a photo during baseball spring training in 1972. M...

Associated Press

Willie Mays, Giants’ electrifying ‘Say Hey Kid,’ dies at 93

Willie Mays, whose singular combination of talent, drive and exuberance made him one of baseball’s greatest players, has died. He was 93.

13 hours ago

Image: This photo provided by the Washington Department of Ecology shows a derailed BNSF train on t...

Associated Press

Judge orders BNSF to pay Washington tribe nearly $400M for trespassing with oil trains

BNSF Railway must pay the sum to a Native American tribe in Washington after it ran 100-car trains with crude oil on the tribe's reservation.

2 days ago

Photo: In this photo provided by Tieanna Joseph Cade, an amusement park ride is shown stuck with 30...

Associated Press

Crews rescue 28 people trapped upside down high on Oregon amusement park ride

Emergency crews in Oregon rescued 28 people after they were stuck dangling upside down high on a ride at a century-old amusement park.

2 days ago

juneteenth shooting texas...

Associated Press

2 killed and 6 wounded in shooting during a Juneteenth celebration in a Texas park

A shooting in a Texas park left two people dead and six wounded, including two children, on Saturday, authorities said.

3 days ago

Photo: Israeli soldiers drive a tank near the Israeli-Gaza border, in southern Israel, Wednesday, J...

Jack Jeffery, The Associated Press

8 Israeli soldiers killed in southern Gaza in deadliest attack on Israeli forces in months

An explosion in Gaza killed eight Israeli soldiers, the military said Saturday, making it the deadliest attack on Israeli forces in months.

4 days ago

Juanita Beach Kirkland...

Kathy McCormack and Nick Perry, The Associated Press

‘Tis the season for swimming and bacteria alerts in lakes, rivers

With summer about to start, many people flocking to their favorite swimming holes may also want to read up on bacteria warnings.

5 days ago

Guam Legislature passes abortion ban; governor veto expected