Guatemala’s Congress approved on Tuesday a law which punishes abortion with up to 25 years in prison and bans same-sex marriage along with teaching about sexual diversity in schools.
Proposed by the conservative Viva Party, the law for the protection of life and the family was approved by a large majority of lawmakers including allies of President Alejandro Giammattei. Only 8 lawmakers out of 160 voted against it.
The legislation had been on hold since 2018 and still has to be published in the official gazette to make it official.
In order to enter into force, it must be signed by the president. Alexander Giammattei. It is not yet clear if the president will ratify it, but many members (102) of his party, the conservative group Vamos, voted in favor.
Under the law, women who “have induced their own abortion or have given their consent to someone else to carry it out” will face a minimum of five years in jail, but the sentences could be much higher.
The law also stipulates that schools are prohibited from teaching students “anything other than that heterosexuality is normal.”
Guatemala’s human rights ombudsman, Jordan Rodas, said he would challenge it on human rights grounds. “It violates human rights, it violates the international agreements ratified by Guatemala, it is a setback to freedoms,” Rodas told reporters outside Congress.
Some lawmakers argued that the law promotes hatred, homophobia and unfairly criminalizes women.
ARTICLE: PAUL MURDOCH
MANAGING EDITOR: CARSON CHOATE
PHOTO CREDITS: LA TIMES