2012 Abortion Report Press Release

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Guam Medical Records 2012 Abortion Report acquired by The Esperansa Project

Hagatna, Guam - March 4, 2013 - On February 18, 2013, the Esperansa Project sent a Freedom of Information Act request to Guam Memorial Hospital Medical Records Division for the 2012 Abortion Report in the form as allowed by 10 G.C.A. § 3218(e). Esperansa received the report on February 21, 2013.

According to the report, there were 275 reported abortions on Guam in 2012, down from 295 in 2011, and below the median 286.4 abortions per year since 2008 when credible data first became available from Guam Medical Records. (Note: Prior to 2008 reporting was very erratic or non-existent. In 2008 a financial penalty for failure to report was instituted. [P.L. 29-115:1])

A Look at the Numbers

ETHNICITY: Women identifying themselves as Chamorro continue to account for most of the abortions. In 2012, 176 or 62% of reported abortions were performed on Chamorro women, followed by 22 abortions for Whites and Koreans, 20 for Filipinos, 15 Chinese, 7 FSM and Black, 4 Vietnamese, and 2 Palauan. (See chart.)

AGE: Minors girls accounted for only 2% of abortions, with adult women, age 18 and older, accounting for the balance. The largest number of abortions (79) were procured by women ages 23-27. (See chart.)

MARITAL STATUS: 204 abortions were procured by single women, 70 by married women, and one by a woman identifying herself as divorced. (See chart.)

ABORTION METHOD & GESTATIONAL AGE: Guam’s abortion reporting law does not require the gestational age of the fetus at the time of the abortion be reported, but gestational age can be approximated by the abortion method used.
  • 255 abortions were performed by either Vacuum D&C or Aspiration, methods normally employed during the first trimester of pregnancy.
  • 20 abortions were performed by Dilation & Extraction, Saline, and RU486, methods normally employed during the second and third trimesters. (See chart.)

PLACE OF RESIDENCE: The village of Agana had the most abortions by percentage of population (20.93 per 1000), but this may be due to the location of a mailing address. Tamuning and Dededo, the island’s most populous villages top the charts with 71 and 48 abortions respectively, with Yigo following at 36. (See chart.)

INCOMPLETE REPORT: Despite the imposition of a financial penalty, it appears that either abortion providers continue to not fully comply with the abortion reporting law or Guam Medical Records is deficient in its compilation of abortion data as required by Guam law.

The 2012 statistical report required by 10 G.C.A. § 3218(e) fails to include the complete data required by law relative to the educational level of the patient in 225 of 275 instances. And in 146 or 275 instances, the year of the patient’s last live birth is not provided. Both categories of information are important to researchers who hope to address the abortion issue with better education and assistance.

Failure to fully report as required by 10 G.C.A. § 3218(a) incurs a penalty as per 10 G.C.A. § 3218(k) of not less than $10,000 and not more than $100,000 per offense. “Not provided” is NOT an option under 10 G.C.A. § 3218(a)

On February 22, 2013, The Esperansa Project inquired about the missing data required by 10 G.C.A. § 3218(a). Esperansa was immediately advised by the legal counsel for GMH that its representative was not “qualified” to make the inquiry. It is unclear as to who or which agency is responsible for the enforcement of the abortion reporting law. It is hoped that the Administration will further look into the matter.

The 2012 Abortion Report may be viewed at Esperansa.org.

The Epseransa Project is a community-based group organized to effect and support pro-life legislation wherever possible. For further information, please contact:

Tim Rohr, Esperansa Project Coordinator
(671) 483-0467
timrohr.guam@gmail.com

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