Guatemalan President Alejandro Giammattei declared in a conference last March 9 that their country is the "pro-life capital of Latin America."
The Christian Headlines said Giammattei is a staunch defender of the unborn and made the declaration during the Ibero-American Congress for Life and Family.
The Congress, which was held in the presidential palace, jumpstarts a three-day event with the primary agenda of declaring Guatemala as Latin America's pro-life capital. The three other agendas of the event are the "International Summit of Pro-Life Organizations," the "Congress for Life, Family, and Fundamental Freedoms," and the "Meeting of the Ibero-American Union of Christian Parliamentarians."
The summit is said to be participated by religious leaders and a large international delegation composed of 75 representatives from pro-life organizations in the United States.
During the Congress, Giammattei promised before the members of the Congress and his cabinet that he will protect families. The president also vowed to protect the sanctity of life from conception to natural death in his country.
Giammattei also declared the annual celebration for the National Day of Life in Guatemala every March 9. The declaration comes with an unveiling of a monument to commemorate the National Day of Life.
The president condemned pressures pushing gender ideology and pro-choice policies in countries like Guatemala. This is in the face of a law rejected by the Guatemalan Congress that would strengthen penalties against abortion. The law also prohibits sexual diversity to be taught in schools and bans same-sex marriage in the country.
Abortions are said to be allowed in Guatemala on the account of a mother's life being in danger. The law, "Protection of Life and Family," was passed by lawmakers initially but the Giammattei reportedly opposed it. Giammattei said it breaches the country's international treaties since parts of the law were unconstitutional.
Accordingly, the law subjects a woman to 10 years imprisonment when convicted of abortion. Harsh penalties are also imposed on doctors and anyone who assisted in the abortion. As such, the lawmakers have decided to archive the law last March 8.
The president added Guatemala to the Geneva Consensus Declaration last fall. The Consensus comprises 35 countries that detest abortion to be an international right. The Consensus agrees that abortion should not be part of health care or family planning. The United States used to be part of the Consensus but Biden withdrew from it when he took seat of office last year.
As per the Family Research Council, Giammattei's declaration is a significant victory for the international pro-life movement. The declaration is said to come at a time when many countries in the region are pushed to rethink their position on abortion, which the Family Research Council stressed is an influence of President Joe Biden's Administration.
Christianity Daily reported that Mexico's High Court in September decriminalized abortion. The decision comes nine months after Argentina legalized abortion. While Colombia's high court legalized abortion up to the first 24 weeks of pregnancy last month.
"Guatemala's decision to embrace and champion the pro-life values of its people is significant," the Family Research Council said.
"Giammattei's decision to resist cultural imperialism is a remarkable display of courage," the pro-life organization added.