While the U.S. has been roiling over a bitter presidential battle between incumbent Donald Trump and Democrat Joe Biden, lawmakers in Guatemala reversed a previous decision to allow Planned Parenthood—the nation's largest abortion business—to operate in the Central American country.
Guatemalan President Alejandro Giammattei, a doctor and retired surgeon, announced the decision this week, according to the Catholic News Agency, explaining he is opposed to the organization's stance on abortion.
"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," Giammattei said in a statement last week. "I am a faithful defender of life, and I am emphatic in stating that I will not endorse in my government the creation, registration or start-up of any organization that goes against life."
Oliverio Garcia Rodas, interior minister for Guatemala, has resigned from his post after initially approving the agreement between his country's government and Planned Parenthood.
The president said Rodas gave his notice this week, saying he decided to step down "due to the error he had committed and considering that it was strongly opposed."
Under current law in Guatemala, abortion is illegal except in cases when the mother is facing a life-threatening medical emergency. The third article of the Guatemalan Constitution states the country "safeguards and protects human life from conception."
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