Abortion access and funding have always been a struggle in U.S. territories

Access to abortion in U.S. territories post-Dobbs is just as difficult as before, and those concerns aren’t even a discussion within the mainstream reproductive rights movement

by Cecille Joan Avila
November 7th, 2022

In June, the Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization decision overturned Roe v. Wade, effectively eliminating the federal right to abortion, but in Guam, it’s been four years since the last surgical abortion provider retired, leaving the small island territory without anyone who can perform the procedure. Pregnant people seeking an abortion can either receive abortifacients by mail, or, if they are beyond the timeframe where it’s possible to have a medication abortion, they have to travel to Hawai‘i. That is only feasible if they have the means to—and many do not.

For many in U.S. territories, getting an abortion hasn’t just depended on the procedure being legal. People have had to rely on community networks and whatever resources were available to get or pay for an abortion. The common factor is that in U.S. territories, they need to know the right people to ask for assistance, information, and resources, which is ultimately an unsustainable way to access a key component of reproductive health.

Continued: https://prismreports.org/2022/11/07/abortion-access-us-territories-struggle/


In Guam, the nearest domestic abortion clinic is 4,000 miles away. How will Roe’s reversal change the U.S. territory?

"People in Guam were already living in a post-Roe world," an ACLU deputy director said. "This is what we will see again if extremist politicians enact new abortion bans and force women into second-class status."

Aug 10, 2022
By Claire Wang

The Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade, which had made abortion a constitutionally protected right, could have a chilling effect on reproductive rights in Guam.

Advocates say women have already been living under a de facto ban in the largely Catholic U.S. Pacific Island territory and fear it could get more restrictive.

Continued: https://www.nbcnews.com/news/asian-america/guam-nearest-domestic-abortion-clinic-4000-miles-away-will-roes-revers-rcna42212


On remote US territories, abortion hurdles mount without Roe

By Audrey Mcavoy, The Associated Press
Fri., May 27, 2022

HONOLULU (AP) — Women from the remote U.S. territories of Guam and the Northern Mariana Islands will likely have to travel farther than other Americans to terminate a pregnancy if the Supreme Court overturns a precedent that established a national right to abortion in the United States.

Hawaii is the closest U.S. state where abortion is legal under local law. Even so, Honolulu is 3,800 miles (6,100 kilometers) away — about 50% farther than Boston is from Los Angeles.

Continued: https://www.thespec.com/ts/news/world/us/2022/05/27/on-remote-us-territories-abortion-hurdles-mount-without-roe.html


There Are No Abortion Providers in Guam. We Must Change That

BY MARIA DOLOJAN, Teen Vogue
MARCH 17, 2021

In 2019, when news broke that a 12 year-old girl in my island community on Guam was raped and impregnated, reality set in for me and many women and girls. It was the first time some of us realized that we did not have any abortion providers in Guam, and it would take extraordinary measures for someone from our island to get an abortion. She would have to fly thousands of miles to Hawai‘i — and because she likely comes from a poor family who does not have the financial means to pursue abortion services elsewhere, she would not able to end the pregnancy. 

It was a wakeup call. 

Continued: https://www.teenvogue.com/story/there-are-no-abortion-providers-in-guam