World

Guatamala Congress announces it will no longer be implementing law punishing abortion with jail time

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

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Paul, 37, is from Scotland in the UK, but currently lives and works in Bangkok. Paul has worked in different industries such as telemarketing, retail, hospitality, farming, insurance, and teaching, where he works now. He teaches at an all-girls High School in Bangkok. “It’s a lot of work, but I love my job.” Paul has an active interest in politics. His reason for writing for FBA is to offer people the facts and allow them to make up their own minds. Whilst he believes opinion columns have their place, it is also important that people can have accurate news with no bias.

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