Monday, November 21, 2022


The following letter to the editor was submitted to the Pacific Daily News on Sep. 16, 2022. To my knowledge, and after several follow ups to the editor, it was never published so I am publishing it here with the addition of links and references.


By Tim Rohr

According to the ACLU, Guam’s informed consent law for abortion violates the 14th amendment and “causes irreparable harm and unnecessary shame in a community where the procedure is stigmatized.” (Pacific Daily News, Sep. 16, 2022)

That abortion is stigmatized in Guam is an ACLU myth. Compared to a study published by Americans United for Life in 2008, Guam, due to its lack of abortion regulation, was the easiest place in the nation to procure an abortion.

Since 2008, regulation has increased, but not through any effort by “stigmatizing” religious groups or pro-life lawmakers, but mostly via the efforts of The Esperansa Project which purposely steered clear of religious arguments, and in doing so, helped enact eight pro-life laws in eight years

Esperansa’s main weapon was requiring government compliance with already existing law relative to the publication of abortion reports.

Link: Abortion on Guam by the Numbers

The reports revealed that of the nearly two abortions performed every day, nearly two-thirds of those abortions were procured by women identifying their ethnicity as CHamoru. And, given an estimate of six hundred abortions per year by the late-Senator Elizabeth Arriola in 1990 (1), it appears that this had been the norm for nearly thirty years.

In short, and to echo Arriola’s 1990 speech to the legislature, CHamorus were self-exterminating. Obviously there was (and is) no “stigma” of any consequence.

The ACLU’s stigma myth is also controverted by the fact that Guam voters elected as their governor the most visible and vociferous champion of abortion in Guam’s history, and elected said governor over another candidate (Frank Aguon, Jr.) who was an equally visible and vociferous champion of rights of the unborn. (2)

Further, the stigma myth was confounded in the recent primary election where Guam voters again chose abortion over life in the womb when they once again chose the incumbent pro-abortion governor and roundly rejected challenger, Michael San Nicholas, who, despite his pro-abortion running mate, was at least nominally pro-life given his legislative record.

Meanwhile, the real “hardship” imposed on local women seeking an abortion is not due to a law, but to those local doctors, who, despite publicly advocating for abortion, refuse, not only to perform abortions, but to even meet with a woman, read through a checklist, and hand her a pamphlet.

Speaking for the “board of the Guam Medical Society,” Dr. Samir Ambrale stated: “we believe that a pregnant woman should always have a choice. A choice between continuing the pregnancy or terminating it.” (Pacific Daily News, Jul. 27, 2022)

If Dr. Ambrale and other pro-choice medical professionals believe this and are not just virtue-signaling, then they would give women that “choice” by welcoming them into their offices instead of forcing them to “zoom” with a doctor thousands of miles away and who won’t be around when something goes wrong with their do-it-yourself abortions.

Better yet, for the women they say they care about, these physicians should provide the abortions they so adamantly demand in the safety of their own offices and clinics instead of leaving women to deal with the trauma of terminating their own pregnancies alone and at home.

But they won’t. Why?

(1) "Let me tell you, at the rate Guam Memorial Hospital is aborting children, between 400-600 a year, and most of them are not even reported. Where are the lives that we are going to protect and preserve? Here we go talking about indigenous rights and self-determination. What good is all that if we don't have our followers to follow and enjoy the fruits of our labor, of this generation's labor, of your labor and my labor to fix this island and have autonomous rights to govern our people?" - quoted in: Asian/Pacific Islander American Women: A Historical Anthology, pg. 372, edited by Shirley Hume, Gail M. Nomura

(2) This letter was written in Sep. 2022, prior to the most recent election where, once again, voters elected the pro-abortion candidate. 

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