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Guatemala scraps agreement to allow Planned Parenthood to operate in country

Guatemala scraps agreement to allow Planned Parenthood to operate in country

The exterior of a Planned Parenthood Reproductive Health Services Center is seen on May 28, 2019 in St Louis, Missouri. | Getty Images/Michael B. Thomas

Guatemala has decided to reverse an earlier decision to allow Planned Parenthood to operate in their country, repealing an earlier agreement made in October.

Guatemalan President Alejandro Giammattei announced the repeal of the agreement this week, explaining in a statement that he opposed the organization’s abortion stance.

“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,” stated Giammattei, as reported by Catholic News Agency.

“I am a faithful defender of life and 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.”

Guatemala's interior minister, Oliverio García Rodas, who initially approved the agreement with Planned Parenthood last month, officially resigned in response to the issue.

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“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,” continued Giammattei.

Under Guatemalan law, the abortion procedure is illegal except in the event of a life-threatening medical emergency for the woman.

According to its website, Planned Parenthood currently partners with organizations within Guatemala to help provide healthcare services and information.

“We use innovative tools to increase access to health information and services, including birth control, as well as improve maternal mortality and unsafe abortion rates,” stated Planned Parenthood.

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

Also this week, Planned Parenthood opted to drop a lawsuit against Arizona over various state regulations on the abortion procedure.

Planned Parenthood of Arizona filed without explanation a joint stipulation for voluntary dismissal without prejudice in federal court on Tuesday.

As a result, Arizona will be able to enforce rules that mandate a 24-hour waiting period and bar abortionists from doing telemedicine abortions, among others.

“The status of this lawsuit does not change the fact that harmful laws like telemedicine bans, advance practice clinician bans, and mandatory waiting periods push abortion access out of reach for far too many people,” explained Lola Bovell of Planned Parenthood in a statement to Capitol Media Services.

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In addition to being a reporter, Michael Gryboski has also had a novel released titled Memories of Lasting Shadows. For more information, click here.  

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