Thursday, October 11, 2012

THANKSGIVING TERROR


It was the Friday after Thanksgiving, 2010, and I was doing what most folks were doing: enjoying the extra holiday, relaxing with my family, and eating leftovers. Just as I was about to settle down for a “long winter’s nap” I got a call. “Tim. You have to come down here. You won’t believe what they’re doing.”

The caller continued in a mixture of panic and details. I replied, “Okay, I’ll be right there.”  I fumbled around for some presentable clothes and my flip-flops, still not quite sure what this was all about, and headed down the road...to the Legislature. The caller herself had also been at home. The Legislature was in session and she had been watching on TV.

It was already late when the Speaker called for a discussion on Bill 54 - the informed consent for abortion bill which had been at the heart of much controversy prior to the recent election. The words “Bill 54” caught my friend’s attention and within minutes it was obvious that something had gone terribly wrong.

The television feed showed the Speaker banging the gavel insisting that Senator Calvo - the author of the bill - proceed. Calvo, who had apparently just arrived, looked desperately around asking “Has this been accepted, has this been acc...(gavel pounds again).

The reason Senator Calvo was asking “Has this been accepted?” was because an entirely different bill had been substituted on the Floor. Such a thing is not unheard of but in order for a bill to be substituted or amended during a legislative session there must be a motion to accept and a vote. There was neither.

Calvo knew the requirement, but having arrived late, did not know if the procedure had occurred earlier; and, seeing his bill completely stripped of every important provision, rightly asked the Speaker if the substitute had been accepted. There was no answer, just the pounding of the Speaker’s gavel and her insistence that Calvo proceed. So Calvo proceeded.

My friend had also hurried down to the Legislature and was watching through the glass when I arrived. She looked at me and shook her head. It took me awhile to figure out what was going on. I didn’t know yet of the impostor bill and thought that Bill 54, as authored, was being debated.

Senator Calvo was arguing to place key information provisions back into the bill, provisions I knew were already in the bill. It didn’t make sense. One of the senators who co-sponsored the bill saw me through the glass and came out to explain.

The Chairman of the Rules Committee had rewritten the bill, gutting all the key information relative to abortion risks and left only information about the risks of carrying a child to term. So a bill, which would have required an abortionist to advise a patient of the risks of abortion would now, amazingly, only require the abortionist to advise the patient of the risks of keeping her child. In short, Bill 54 was now an abortionist’s dream come true.

Calvo tried to put back the key provisions but was roundly voted down by the majority on each occasion. I watched in sick amazement as I listened to senators, some of whom are prominent Catholics, stand and argue against providing information to a woman about her unborn child and the risks and even the alternatives to abortion.

But the low point of the session was a rant by one senator against the use of the words “unborn child”. The senator wanted the term stricken from the bill. I do not exaggerate when I call it a “rant”. You can watch it for yourself at Esperansa.org. It was nothing less than a vicious attack on the very idea that the fetus might be human. Simply staggering.

It has now been nearly 21 months since that Friday night. There is still no informed consent for abortion requirement for Guam. And at a rate of one abortion every 1.2 days, that means 525 more babies have been sucked, scraped, and yanked from their mother’s wombs and thrown in the trash along with the bill that might have saved at least some.

At the very least, Bill 54 would have required that pregnant mothers be advised of the availability of adoption. Child Protective Services recently advised that they have a waiting list of parents but haven’t had a child available for adoption in FIVE YEARS!

And now, some of those same lawmakers, who made sure those mothers would never know about the parents who would have loved to raise the children whose bodies were thrown into the abortionist’s garbage, are once again waving to you at intersections.

All of the above is a matter of public record and has been documented and substantiated at Esperansa.org and GuamOpenGovernment.org

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