Guatemala vetoes Planned Parenthood over abortion

Guatemala’s president said Monday he will scrap an official agreement allowing US-based family planning group Planned Parenthood to set up an office, denouncing it as a promotor of abortion.

“I AM A FAITHFUL DEFENDER OF LIFE and I am emphatic in indicating that in my government I will not endorse the creation, registration or start-up of any organization that goes against life,” said President Alejandro Giammattei on Twitter. 

“I recognize life from its conception and therefore in my government I will not tolerate any movement that violates what is provided in our political constitution,” said Giammattei.

The president issued the declaration hours after the interior ministry published in its official gazette the agreement authorizing Planned Parenthood Global Guatemala LLC “to establish a branch in the country.” 

A spokesman for the presidency later confirmed that Giammattei will “repeal” the agreement, without explaining why the document was promulgated in the official gazette in the first place, a move that sparked outcry from conservative and religious groups. 

The interior ministry has not commented on its decision give the green light to Planned Parenthood, a US organization that provides family planning care, including access to safe abortion. 

Abortion in Guatemala is punishable by fines and jail sentences up to three years, and is only authorized if the life of the mother is in danger.