Guatemalan women face up to 10 years in prison under new abortion law

In an earlier statement to The New York Times, the president’s office denied that Mr. Giammattei had taken bribes. Guatemala has previou...


In an earlier statement to The New York Times, the president’s office denied that Mr. Giammattei had taken bribes.

Guatemala has previously imposed prison sentences for anyone who has had an abortion, except in cases where the woman’s life was in danger, and same-sex couples have never been allowed to marry in the country. But for the president, the new bill carries symbolic weight, analysts say.

“He’s reaching out and trying to amplify his base as he grows weaker and more isolated, and increasingly confronted by the Biden administration,” said Eric Olson, Central America expert at the Seattle International Foundation. “It also helps his relationship with a network of conservative evangelical congressmen in the United States.”

On Wednesday, Giammattei took part in a ceremony declaring Guatemala the “pro-life capital” of Latin America. He was joined by representatives of the Family Research Council, a leading Washington-based evangelical group, the the group said.

In remarks recorded for the event, a US lawmaker, Senator Steve Daines, Republican of Montana, praised the Guatemalan leader “for his dedicated efforts to defend the lives of unborn children.” Mr. Daines, who is chairman of the Senate Pro-Life Caucus, said: “Unborn children are under attack from powerful outside forces, especially in Latin America.

The measure was met with mixed reactions in Guatemala, even among anti-abortion activists.

José Estuardo Córdova, legal director of the Family Matters Association, one of the country’s leading anti-abortion groups, said that while the group supports tougher penalties for abortion providers, increasing penalties for women undergoing the procedure made less sense.

“I think it was approved a bit on the fly,” Mr. Córdova said. “The process of creating this bill lacked serious technical analysis.”



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Newsrust - US Top News: Guatemalan women face up to 10 years in prison under new abortion law
Guatemalan women face up to 10 years in prison under new abortion law
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