Guatemala enacted legislation barring same-sex marriage and punishing women who have abortions with up to ten years in prison.
Guatemala’s congress passed a “Protection of Life and Family” law with 101 votes in favor and eight votes against it. This law was shelved in 2018 and has been revived by the Viva Political Party. Human rights organizations have denounced the move, with protesters taking to the streets in recent days.
Abortion was already banned in Guatemala unless it was necessary to save the mother’s life. The penalty for abortion was a jail term of three years, however, this new bill will see a maximum sentence of ten years. It is also illegal to assist women in terminating their pregnancies. The Guatemala Congress also voted on a law that prohibits same-sex marriage. Additionally, this law forbids the teaching of sexual diversity in schools as well as anything related to it that could cause children to change their gender identity based on their birth gender.
The law still needs to be signed by Guatemala’s President before it can take effect. Days after both laws were passed, President Alejandro Giammattei of Guatemala announced he will veto the bill calling it “unconstitutional”. Jordan Rodas, Guatemala’s elected human rights prosecutor in his Instagram post mentioned “A tragic day for #HumanRights! With the approval of Law 5272, women and #LGBTIQ+ people are criminalized and put at risk, that’s why I will present action of unconstitutionality so that the human rights of all people are guaranteed”.
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Feature Image Via CTVnews.