Archbishop’s message to senators on protecting life

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Dear Senators:

Manana Si Yu’os. I write to join my voice and that of the Archdiocese of Agana with others in supportArchbishop Coat of Arms of recent legislation that protects the most vulnerable of our brothers and sisters on Guam, our unborn.

In truth, it should not only be during these instances when legislation is created, that defense of the innocent is stringently vocalized. Indeed, all people must step forward at all times in defense of innocent babies in the womb, for unlike us, they have no voices and no ability to protect themselves.

Since we all are children of God, created in the image and likeness of our Almighty Maker, we each have at our core, the love and goodness of God. He made us to love one another, He made us to be good stewards of His creation, He made us to uphold the gift of life with dignity and respect.

Just as it is in our human nature to come to the aid of the fragile human beings among us – our beloved manamko, children, the sick and informed, or those especially struggling with life’s difficulties – it should be instinctive for each of us to rise in protection of the helpless children in the womb. When the instinct to obey God’s command to love one another is instead replaced by selfish or misguided motives, when we openly defy our Creator’s moral laws to cherish the gift of life with the utmost respect, then love is replaced with evil. Then, little wonder that we see the types of wanton crime and violence that has become so prevalent in our community today.

Senators, I implore you. Please send a message to all people of our island that we are indeed a loving community that cherishes its children; that indeed, the dignity of all human beings is sacred; that indeed, we care for all our brothers and sisters, most especially the tiniest among us. We stand in support of recent legislation introduced by members of the 32nd Guam Legislation. Specifically, they are Bill 193-32 authored by Sen. Dennis Rodriguez (An Act To Amend Section 4 of Public Law 31-235 To Delete The Provision Requiring The “Printed Materials” And the “Checklist” Certification” To Undergo The Rule Making Process Pursuant To The Administrative Adjudication Law); and Bill 195-32 authored by Sen. Frank Aguon (An Act Relative To Protecting Infants Who Are Born Alive As  A Result Of An Abortion, Through The Establishment of The “Infant Child’s Right To Life Act;” through adding a new 91 to Title 9, Guam code annotated).

We pray that unlike other pro-life legislation introduced in the past, these bills will bear fruit and become laws that in their own important ways, deter the hands of those who would extinguish the lives of the unborn – and in the case of the “Born Alive Act,” babies surviving abortion. Bill 193-32 ensures that legislation already thoroughly discussed  and then passed into law (PL 31-235 the Women’s Health Informative Act of 2012) would not be hindered by an illogical requirement that deemed “information materials” subject to a rule-making process of the governments “Administrative Adjudication Law.”

Bill 195-32 seeks to protect any child who is found alive after being extracted from the womb “through the abortion process.” As you know, the legislation states that in such incidences, the child is recognized as a human being and requires that “The physician performing an abortion must take all medically appropriate and reasonable steps to preserve the life and the health of an infant.”

It is incredible that man would even need to enact laws declaring children OUTSIDE the womb to be human beings. It is even more horrifying that there are those right here in our community who would openly oppose such legislation. On behalf of the Faithful of our Catholic Church on Guam, I implore you dear senators to not merely examine your hearts and consciences regarding these two laws today, but to look at the faces of the children, adults and manamko who surround you daily, and make a decision to be champions of life. we pray that you make this a turning point in your lives to forever protect life in all stages, most especially the unborn. I urge all Catholics on Guam to communicate to our leaders regarding the importance of these bills and more legislation protecting our unborn.

The  peace of the Lord be with you always,

/s/Archbishop Anthony Sablan Apuron, OFM Cap., D.D. Metropolitan Archbishop of Agana

Oct. 30, 2013