Guatemala’s congress on Tuesday deciding against implementing a bill that would have imposed up to 10 years of jail time for women who obtained abortions.
The U.S. government also expressed serious concerns about enacting the legislation in back-channel conversations with the Guatemalan government, according to two American officials who spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss sensitive policy matters.
The country’s president, Alejandro Giammattei, said he would veto the bill days after his allies pushed it through the legislature, a move that surprised analysts, human rights activists and Guatemalan officials.
According to a statement published by the parliament, the bill was shelved following a lawmakers’ meeting.
The “Life and Family Protection Law” would have punished women who had “induced their own abortion or given their consent to another person to carry it out” with 10 years behind bars, more than three times the current sentence of three years.
The bill, which was passed by Congress on International Women’s Day on March 8, also introduced a reform to the Civil Code that would have prohibited same-sex marriages and banned public and private teaching initiatives on sexual diversity.
ARTICLE: PAUL MURDOCH
MANAGING EDITOR: CARSON CHOATE
PHOTO CREDITS: NEW YORK TIMES