Lack of abortion access troubles Guam’s 1st female governor

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In this Jan. 22, 2017, photo, the Guam Catholic Pro-Life Committee holds its annual “Chain for Life” protest against abortion at the Guam International Trade Center intersection in Tamuning, Guam. The first female governor of Guam says she’s concerned that a lack of abortion access in the U.S. territory means women will be forced to seek illegal or dangerous alternatives. (Frank San Nicolas/The Pacific Daily via AP)

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HONOLULU (AP) — The first female governor of Guam says she’s concerned that a lack of abortion access in the U.S. territory means women will be forced to seek illegal or dangerous alternatives.

The last abortion provider in the heavily Catholic Pacific island retired in 2018, and no other doctors are willing to perform the procedure.

That’s forcing women seeking to end their pregnancies to fly thousands of miles — a costly and sometimes prohibitive step.

Gov. Lourdes Leon Guerrero says officials are trying to recruit doctors to Guam to fill the gap.

Guam law allows abortion, but doctors also have the legal right to deny services unless it’s a medical emergency.

Guerrero says she’s nervous about what’s happening in states like Alabama and Missouri where tough abortion restrictions are being enacted.

Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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