Wednesday, October 2, 2013

ESPERANSA NEWS: CRITICAL! PUBLIC HEARING ON BILL 193-32

Dear Friends of the Unborn,   

Senator Dennis Rodriguez, Jr. has announced a public hearing for Bills 193-32 and 191-32 for:

Friday, October 4, 2013, 9am, in the Legislature Public Hearing Room

Both bills seek to eliminate the need to subject the printed materials required by the informed consent for abortion law (P.L. 31-235) to the rule making process "pursuant to the Administrative Adjudication Law."

For more background on what this all means go here.

Otherwise, you are simply requested to submit the following statement either by email, letter, or orally at the public hearing:

"I support Bill 193-32 and urge you to pass it promptly."

As per Senator Rodriguez' public hearing notification:

Testimony should be addressed to Senator Dennis Rodriguez, Jr., Chairman, and may be submitted via- hand delivery to our office at 176 Serenu Avenue Suite 107 Tamuning, Guam 96931 or our mailbox at the Main Legislature Building at 155 Hesler Place, Hagåtña, Guam 96910, or via email to senatordrodriguez@gmail.com.


NOTE: WE DO NOT RECOMMEND SUPPORTING BILL 191-32 as introduced by Senator Frank Aguon, Jr. Even though Senator Aguon's bill attempts to do the same thing as Bill 193-32, it erroneously eliminates the whole of Section 4. This could easily create a legitimate opportunity for opposition to the bill ONCE AGAIN sinking our very long attempt at implementing informed consent legislation. 

If you are interested in understanding why we do not support Bill 191-32, read on. If not, please just support Bill 193-32 as directed above.

WHY WE DO NOT RECOMMEND SUPPORTING BILL 191-32

Section 2 of Senator Aguon's Bill 191-31 states:

Section 4. of Public Law 31-235, is hereby deleted in its entirety.

Here is the whole of Section 4 which would be eliminated by Senator Aguon's bill:

Section 4. Effective Date. This Act shall take effect sixty (60 days after the "printed materials" described in proposed § 3218.1(c) and the "checklist certification" described in proposed § 3218.1(c)(5) have been approved by the Department and, pursuant to the rule making process set forth in Title 5, Chapter 9, Article 3 of the Guam Code Annotated. 

Senator Rodriguez' Bill 193-32 does not call for the elimination of the section in its entirety but amends it as follows:

Section 4. Effective Date. This Act shall take effect sixty (60 days after the "printed materials" described in proposed § 3218.1(c) and the "checklist certification" described in proposed § 3218.1(c)(5) have been approved by the Director of the Department of Public Health and Social ServicesDepartment and, pursuant to the rule making process set forth in Title 5, Chapter 9, Article 3 of the Guam Code Annotated.

If for some reason your email client does not display this properly the key changes are:
  1. "Department" was replaced with "Director the Department of Public Health and Social Services."
  2. And the following was struck out: "and, pursuant to the rule making process set forth in Title 5, Chapter 9, Article 3 of the Guam Code Annotated."

As you can see, Bill 193-32 leaves in place the very important provision that the materials be approved by the department tasked with overseeing the implementation of all health-related laws. Without this, the public would have no assurance that the materials used in the informed consent process conform to the provisions of the informed consent law, and opponents would surely and correctly use this point to once again derail the legislation.

We do not suppose that Senator Aguon did this purposely and assume he probably acted with the best of intentions. But prior to introducing his bill, he did not consult with Senator Rodriguez who had oversight of the legislation, nor with Esperansa who had shepherded the legislation, assembled the required printed materials, and saw to the construction of the critical language deleting the "choke point" provision. 

We are giving Senator Aguon the benefit of the doubt, thus we are not asking you to express your disapproval of his bill, but only to express support for Senator Rodriguez' Bill 193-32

At this point it is not necessary to express your support to every senator, but direct it to Senator Rodriguez as instructed above. More later.

The Esperansa Project

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