Guam Governor Lourdes Leon Guerrero has run into a serious obstacle in her desire to see abortion rights thrive on the island–doctors who refuse to perform the procedure. The U.S. territory, located in Micronesia in the western Pacific, is over 80% Catholic and no doctors have agreed to offer abortions since the island’s last abortion provider retired last year.
Abortion is legal in Guam up to 13 weeks, but doctors can deny the service unless there is a medical emergency. However, no abortions have been reported to Guam’s Office of Vital Statistics since last June. Women who terminate a pregnancy without a doctor’s aid could be charged with a felony.
Guerrero, Guam’s first female governor, advocated for expanding abortion rights during the campaign and continues to push for them in office. She told the Associated Press during a phone interview that, “I truly believe that women should have control over their own bodies,” adding, “I’m very sad and very nervous about what’s happening across the nation.”
Guerrero called Guam’s current abortion law “very restrictive” and is concerned that women who do not want to carry a pregnancy to term will seek out potentially life-threatening alternatives. She said, “I’m concerned about it going underground because then we can’t really control it, we can’t really monitor, we can’t really make sure that the women are doing it in an environment that is conducive to a healthy recovery. According to Time, Guerrero is working to recruit doctors to move to Guam and establish abortion clinics.
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Source: Christian Headlines