In a stunning development, the legislature of the western Pacific island of Guam, a U.S territory, voted unanimously to ban virtually all abortions. The bill was signed into law by Gov. Joseph F. Ada (D) on March 19, but a week later a federal district court judge issued a temporary restraining order blocking enforcement until a court challenge is heard.
The new law, by far the most restrictive in the United States, would forbid all abortions except when it is believed that the pregnancy would “endanger the life of the mother” or “gravely impair” her health. District Judge Alex Munson issued a temporary restraining order blocking enforcement until May 8, when the trial is set to begin. If the case makes it to the Supreme Court, it would force the judges to uphold or overturn Roe v. Wade, with which the law is clearly in conflict.
Nearly every state in the United States is considering some type of abortion related (mostly pro-life) legislation this year. The following states have already begun the legislative process of imposing restrictions on abortions.
- Alabama: A restrictions bill was passed in the state House on March 8 by an overwhelming 79-18 majority.
- Kansas: The state House passed a parental notification measure, 73-50, on March 1.
- Michigan: Gov. James Blanchard vetoed a Feb 23 parental consent bill, but the state legislature is likely to overturn the veto. Michigan Right to Life is gathering 192,000 signatures to place the measure before the legislature again.
- Mississippi: Both houses on Feb. 8 passed informed consent bills. Versions of a clinic regulation bill have also passed both houses.
- South Carolina: On Feb. 21, the House approved a parental notification bill which was then signed into law by Gov. Carroll Campbell on Feb. 28.
- Wisconsin: A parental consent bill, was passed enthusiastically (72-24) by the House.
New developments in many battles around the nation are occurring almost every day. Many states are considering pro-life legislation specifically designed to challenge the constitutionality of Roe vs. Wade.