Guam Attorney General Fights in Court to Enforce Abortion Ban So Babies Can be Protected

State   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Mar 24, 2023   |   11:54AM   |   Hagåtña, Guam

Since 1990, the U.S. territory of Guam has not been allowed to enforce a law that protects unborn babies by banning elective abortions.

Courts blocked the pro-life law because of Roe v. Wade, but the U.S. Supreme Court reversed the deadly abortion ruling last June. Now, U.S. states and territories may protect unborn babies from abortion again.

KUAM News reports Guam Attorney General Douglas Moylan recently filed a motion to vacate the permanent injunction and allow the territory to enforce the law, citing the Supreme Court ruling Dobbs v. Jackson.

On Friday, however, U.S. District Court Chief Judge Frances Tydingco Gatewood denied his request, saying Moylan did not respond to arguments that the law should remain blocked, according to The Guam Daily Post.

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Moylan said he disagrees with the judge’s decision and is considering an appeal.

“To put it simply, we respectfully disagree with the judge’s decision and may be asking for reconsideration or asking the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals for judicial review of that order,” the attorney general said in a statement. “… We will be reviewing the decision further and considering the next appropriate legal action.”

Here’s more from the Daily Post:

Tydingco-Gatewood’s order details the arguments in opposition to Moylan, made not only by Gov. Lou Leon Guerrero, but also by the Guam Memorial Hospital Administration, as reasoning for denying the motion.

“Defendants Governor and GMH Administrator both argue sections 4 and 5 of Guam Public Law 20-134 violate the First Amendment’s freedom of speech clause. … They argue that the United States Supreme Court’s opinion in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health organization neither impacted nor affected the unconstitutionality of these actions,” Tydingco-Gatewood wrote.

The judge’s decision stated Moylan did not reply to the plaintiff’s argument that the AG had “not met his burden for obtaining relief” through the vacated injunction.

Like U.S. states, Guam and other territories also were affected by Roe v. Wade, the 1973 ruling that forced states to legalize killing unborn babies in abortions and led to the deaths of more than 63 million children.

In December, the unicameral legislature passed a heartbeat bill, sponsored by Sen. Telena Nelson, to protect unborn babies by banning abortions once their heartbeat is detectable, about six weeks of pregnancy. However, the governor vetoed the bill.

Recent polls show public support for strong legal protections for unborn babies, such as heartbeat laws and bans on abortion after the first trimester.

Guam does not have any abortion facilities. However, the ACLU filed a lawsuit that could bring abortions back to the island. The Guardian reports the lawsuit challenges two territory 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.