Guatemala Repeals Agreement to Allow Planned Parenthood to Operate

Members of the 'Planned Parenthood' women's rights group protest against the 'Stupak Ammendment' which they say will ban private abortion coverage for millions of American women, outside the Federal Courthouse in Los Angeles on November 20, 2009. Rights advocates have accused the most pro-choice US government in decades of throwing …
MARK RALSTON/AFP/Getty

Guatemala has repealed an agreement it made in October that would have allowed abortion provider Planned Parenthood to operate in the country.

On Wednesday, the country’s Interior Ministry said it was rescinding its agreement, dated October 7, asserting it was “not in accord with the interests of the State of Guatemala.”

A report at Catholic News Agency (CNA) stated:

Guatemalan President Alejandro Giammattei announced the repeal Nov. 2, declaring he would not allow Planned Parenthood to operate in the country. Giammattei’s response was in reaction [to] the initial agreement authorizing Planned Parenthood, which became official that same day.

“I recognize life from conception and therefore I will not tolerate in my administration any movement that violates what is established in our Political Constitution of the Republic, that goes against the values with which I was raised and that conflicts with my principles as doctor,” Giammattei said.

The president emphasized that he is “a faithful defender of life.”

“I am emphatic in stating that I will not endorse in my administration the creation, registration or start-up of any organization that goes against life,” he asserted.

Planned Parenthood states on its website its partner organization Planned Parenthood Global joins with local groups in Guatemala “to increase access to health information and services, including birth control, as well as improve maternal mortality and unsafe abortion rates.”

“We promote community engagement to change the social, legal, and political climate to equate sexual and reproductive rights with human rights,” the abortion provider adds.

CNA reported Oliverio Garcia Rodas, Guatemala’s interior minister, resigned following the decision to scrap the agreement with Planned Parenthood.

“Oliverio García Rodas, taking responsibility, informed me in the evening that he had made the decision to resign due to the error he had committed and considering that it was strongly opposed,” Giammattei told journalists.

“I reiterate the government’s commitment to respect life from conception, since it is something that my faith and the Political Constitution of the Republic profess,” the president added.

Pro-life advocates expressed gratitude to Giammattei “for his firm statement,” and for protecting “the lives of Guatemalans from conception, as established in our Magna Carta.”

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