Bill 323 Update 12-20-11: Cruz attempts to save face

Bill 323 was discussed on 12/19/11 and moved to the voting file. During the discussion, according to a PNC news story, Senator Cruz stated:

Bill 323, Legislative Sessions 12/19/11

 "Madam speaker in 1976 the 13th Guam Legislature copied the California civil code and enacted chapter 19 of the Guam code annotated, and in it they have in Section 1111(a)(3) the following: 'Medical care and services means the diagnostic examination prescription and administration of medication and other items in the treatment of other venereal diseases, pregnancy, and substance abuse.'

And I want everybody to understand that the language I'm about to read was included in the 13th Guam Legislature's act: 'It shall not include surgery or any treatment to induce abortion'.  So since 1976, and reaffirmed in 1994, the Guam legislature has made sure that no minor could go to a clinic or doctor or whatever and get an abortion without having parental consent.

Where the myth arose that it was happening I've not been able to figure it out. But I support it and reported this bill out for one very specific reason, Madam Speaker. This bill includes the actions and promulgation by the courts for some rules and procedures for how to deal with this. For me, having served as a family court judge for ten years, that section was a god-send."

It appears that Senator Cruz, realizing that his earlier attempt to discredit the legislation and its author has been exposed, scrambled to find a way to appear credible.

Cruz states above that he reported the bill out (of his committee) "for one very specific reason..(the) bill includes the actions and promulgation by the courts for some rules and procedures for how to deal with this."

If Cruz knew that a provision requiring parental consent for abortion already existed in Guam law, and that the section of the bill which "includes the actions and promulgation by the courts", something he calls a "godsend", was the only necessary section, then it was his job, as chairman of the committee to which the bill was referred, to delete the redundant provisions of the bill and amend it so that it would only amend existing law with the necessary judicial provision.

The fact that he not only did not amend the bill as just described, but even reported the bill out with the original typos, tells us that his epiphany about the needed judicial section was a desperate afterthought once his playing fast and loose with the Guam code and the intelligence and trust of the people of Guam came to light.

Since the bill has been moved to the voting file, we can expect a vote on the bill probably on Wednesday, 12/21/11. It is not known as this moment if there were any significant amendments to the bill on the Floor. We expect the bill to pass for the following reasons:
1. Most of the  opponents of previous pro-life measures can see that their is no political advantage to opposing this measure, especially given the public glare.
2. The exposure of Senator Cruz' trick has probably sent a message to the others as to just how close we are watching.
3. Minors are the least likely demographic to procure an abortion, so this legislation will have minimal if any impact outside of the public dust-up over the abortion problem in general, so it's an easy one for them to let pass just to get it off the table.
4. Given the very nasty doings of our opponents relative to previous pro-life legislation and our exposure of them, they need a pro-life legislative act they can point to when it comes election time, since they are assuming that most Guamanians are pro-life.

Lastly, they are probably thinking that we will just go away after this and congratulate ourselves on our victory.  They have reason to expect that. And we have reason not to do it. We must move forward with the next bill and the next bill and the next.

What's ahead:

Bills 51 and 52 have not yet made it to the floor. They need to be advanced. And we should also introduce a Fetal Homicide Act which would the murder of a pregnant woman and the death of her unborn child a double murder. We should also reintroduce what was Bill 309-30 which mandated normal medical care for a child who survives a failed abortion. Both the Fetal Homicide and Born Alive legislation has federal precedent as did the Partial Birth Abortion ban.

(Go here for the next part of the story.)