Guatemala President Vows to Veto Abortion, Same-Sex Marriage Bill

The Bill, if passed, would increase the penalties for abortions from five to 10 years to up to 25 years, ban same-sex marriage and teaching about gender identity.

Listen to this article:

Guatemala City: Guatemalan President Alejandro Giammattei said on Thursday he would veto a Bill that seeks to increase abortion penalties to up to 25 years in prison and prohibit same-sex marriage, calling it unconstitutional and in violation of international conventions.

The Bill, revived by the conservative Viva Party after being put on ice in 2018, was passed late Tuesday by lawmakers from different parties, including some allies of Giammattei.

Giammattei said the Bill had not been backed by his administration and he couldn’t support it because it would violate two international conventions of which Guatemala is a signatory as well as the country’s constitution.

Also read: How Sylvia Plath’s Secret Miscarriage Transforms Our Understanding of Her Poetry

The proposal has been criticised by human rights groups, which have taken to the streets in recent days to protest.

The president announced his intentions to veto the Bill hours after hosting an event with evangelical pastors in which he declared Guatemala the “pro-life capital of Iberoamerica.”