Sgro Responds to Director’s Statement on Recent Abortion Ban Legislation | Letters to the Editor

Editor’s note: This is the cropped version of a letter that would not fit due to space constraints.

Unfortunately, Jayne Flores’ press release as director of the Bureau of Women’s Affairs was riddled with personal attacks, statements that are neither factual nor based on law and even contrary to the enabling legislation that created the Bureau of Women’s Affairs. women’s affairs.

Of course, I noted that Flores begins his press release with: “This type of legislation is rearing its ugly head during a gubernatorial election year…”

This is absolutely not true. At the press conference where the introduction of the Heartbeat Act was announced, a reporter asked about the timing of the introduction of the Heartbeat Act. I personally answered this question, essentially talking about recent US Supreme Court decisions causing states to rush to introduce their own heartbeat laws similar to the Texas heartbeat law.

I have to believe that as director of the BWA, Flores is very aware of why states are rushing to introduce pro-life legislation. This fact is practically national news on a daily basis.

I also want to point out that Flores’ reference to “nearly 2,000 children in our foster care system” was not only taken out of context, but is also not true. The truth is that there are about 550 children in the foster care system, not 2,000. There have been documented over 2,000 reports of child abuse there every year.

I invite Flores to consider her fiduciary obligations as a public official as Director of the BWA. Then consider the fact that every year there are over 2,000 reports of child abuse in Guam and if you look at those reports historically, the highest number of reported child abuse cases occurred during the Flores’ tenure as director of the BWA. How much time and/or money has the BWA spent to mitigate child abuse on our island?

I found the second paragraph on page 2 of the Flores press release particularly interesting. She wrote, “Individuals are not trained in law enforcement like state actors are.” I’m sure Flores is referring to the fact that the Heartbeat Act only gives private citizens the power to bring a civil action against a doctor or anyone who performs or induces an abortion. And that the law specifically excludes the government of Guam, any government official, and even employees of the government of Guam from taking action.

Reading that particular sentence tells me that Flores is aware of why the United States Supreme Court twice failed to strike down the Texas Heartbeat Act in whole or in part. And that Flores is also aware that just three weeks ago the Texas Supreme Court also failed to strike down the Texas Heartbeat Act. However, I am surprised and not surprised that Flores includes such a sentence:

1. I am surprised that Flores doubts the ability of our people to make decisions regarding the filing of private civil actions in the Guam Superior Court or the Guam District Court.

2. I am not surprised that Flores wants abortion issues to be resolved by the government rather than empowering our people or private citizens to resolve abortion issues.

I think it is important to recognize that there is a section of the Guam Annotated Code relating to an unborn child. I invite Flores to consult the annotated article 1104 of the 9 Code of Guam. “A child conceived, but not yet born, shall be treated as an existing person, to the extent necessary for his or her interests in the event of subsequent birth. In conjunction with 19 Guam Code Annotated Section 9108, the court may grant custody of a child. And in fact, there have been cases in the Superior Court of Guam where custody of an unborn child has been ordered.


Peter R. Sgro Jr. is an attorney from Guam.

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