Guatemala passes law banning same-sex marriage, criminalizes abortions

Guatemala just outlawed same-sex marriages, The Telegraph reports

According to the outlet, the conservatives who are currently in control of the government recently passed the “Life and Family Protection Law.” They did so on International Women’s Day.

The law

The Life and Family Protection Law really does live up to its name.

As stated, the law places a ban on same-sex marriages. To be clear, same-sex marriages have never really been recognized in Guatemala. However, now, they are outright banned.

The law also bans teaching about sexual diversity. It outlaws any public or private teaching initiatives on the subject.

Additionally, the law places a severe, criminal restriction on abortion.

Under the law, any woman who is found to have had an abortion would face ten years in prison. The law ups the prison sentence for abortion more than threefold, from three years to 10 years. The law does, however, provide an exception allowing for an abortion if the mother’s life is threatened.

A cause to celebrate

For those who value life and the importance of the traditional nuclear family, the Life and Family Protection Law is a breath of fresh air. It stands in contrast to all those areas of the world that have been moving in the direction of abortion, same-sex families, and the like.

That was the point made by right-wing Guatemalan Congressman Armando Castillo on Tuesday. “While other countries continue to approve pro-abortion laws as well as laws that lead to the deterioration of the original concept of the family, this initiative has now become an important law for Guatemalan society,” he said.

As one might expect, the law has faced intense criticism from the left. Eugenia Lopez Uribe, regional director for Americas and the Caribbean Region at the International Planned Parenthood Federation, for example, called the law “archaic” and “disturbing.”

The critics are making the typical arguments, such as the argument that banning abortions won’t stop them but just make them less safe. Others are simply calling it discriminatory.

Regardless, it appears that the law will go into effect. All that is needed now is for Guatemalan President Alejandro Giammattei, a physician, to sign the law. Given that he is a conservative who opposes same-sex marriages and abortions, he is fully expected to do so.

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