Last week, the President of Guatemala issued a statement after Guatemala’s Interior Ministry rescinded a previous agreement that would have allowed Planned Parenthood to operate in the country.
“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 of the Republic, that goes against the values with which I was raised and that conflicts with my principles as [a] doctor,” Guatemalan President Dr. Alejandro Giammattei said on Monday in a statement.
“I am a faithful defender of life and I am empathetic in stating that I will not endorse in my government the creation, registration, or start-up of any organization that goes against life.”
SOY UN FIEL DEFENSOR DE LA VIDA y soy enfático en indicar que no avalaré en mi Gobierno la creación, inscripción o puesta en marcha de cualquier organización que vaya en contra de la vida.— Alejandro Giammattei (@DrGiammattei) November 2, 2020
Following the president’s statement, Interior Minister Oliverio García Rodas resigned from his position. Rodas was the one who initially approved the agreement between Guatemala and Planned Parenthood.
According to CBN News, Giammattei explained that Rodas quit “due to the error he had committed and considering that it was strongly opposed.”
Francis Masek, the president’s press secretary, told Vice News that Giammetti was unaware of the proposed agreement and had no prior participation in it.
“It was not until the publication of the NGO’s authorization that the president became aware of the error of authorizing an organization whose social aim is to attack the right to life, which, among other things, the state of Guatemala must safeguard,” Masek said.
The Family Matters Association of Guatemala thanked Giammetti for reversing course and praised him “for his firm statement” defending life and protecting “the lives of Guatemalans from conception.”
According to current Guatemalan law, abortion is forbidden except in particular cases, such as when the mother is at risk of a life-threatening emergency.
The third article of the Guatemalan Constitution explains that the country “safeguards and protects human life from conception.”
According to the Guatemala 2018 International Freedom Report, 45 percent of the Guatemalan population profess to be Catholic while 42 percent is Protestant.
Additionally, around 11 percent do not hold to any religious affiliation at all.
Milton Quintanilla is a freelance writer. Visit his blog Blessed Are The Forgiven.