ACT Guatemala Forum concerned about regressive law initiative “Protection of life and the family”

In Guatemala, Congress might pass Initiative 5272, that provides for approval of the Law “for the protection of life and the family”, any day now. This initiative, which was already discussed in second debate in Congress, might have its third and final debate this coming week. 

“If Congress approves this law, it will violate a wide range of human rights embedded in several national and international legal instruments ratified by the Guatemalan State,” said Carlos Rauda, ACT Alliance’s Regional Representative for Latin America and the Caribbean.  “These include the right to equality before the law, the right to equal protection against all discrimination,  sexual and reproductive rights, rights related to sexual diversity and gender identity, right of access to information, freedom of expression and the right to education.

“Consequently, the provisions of the law would mean a serious setback in access to rights for women and girls, since it penalizes spontaneous abortions, hinders access to therapeutic abortion and prohibits sexual and reproductive education,” Rauda continued.

“This law is another example of the continuing attacks on gender rights being seen in Latin America and around the world,” concluded Rauda.  “While governments should be guaranteeing the rights of all through social protection and just laws, we see the opposite happening in Guatemala now if this law is passed.”

This law will directly affect the LGBTI community and society as a whole, and the law could contribute to augment hatred and violence based on sexual diversity and gender identity.

Moreover, the initiative is contrary to the Lay State as the Guatemalan constitution guarantees the secularity of the State.

The ACT Guatemala Forum has shared and distributed information on the law initiative with their members and allies and has published several messages in their social networks.

The forum will monitor the situation and wants to organize workshops and other activities to promote analysis of this law and generate discussion around the topic. It will actively involve members and keep on supporting the rights of girls, women and other groups affected by this initiative.

The ACT Guatemala Forum and ACT’s Regional Community of Practice on Gender Justice have released a statement about the law, which can be read here.