Guatemala’s conservative-dominated parliament on Tuesday shelved a controversial law that ramped up prison sentences for women who choose to have an abortion and banned gay marriage, just days after passing it.
President Alejandro Giammattei last week called for the law to be abandoned after it was passed by his allies in Congress, saying he would veto it if it came to his desk because it violates the constitution and international agreements signed by the country.
According to a statement published by the parliament, the bill was shelved following a lawmakers’ meeting.
The so-called Life and Family Protection Law would have punished women who had “induced their own abortion or given their consent to another person to carry it out” with 10 years behind bars – more than three times the current sentence of three years.
Abortion is only authorized in Guatemala when there is a threat to the mother’s life.
The bill, which was passed by Congress on International Women’s Day on March 8, also introduced a reform to the Civil Code that would have prohibited same-sex marriages and banned public and private teaching initiatives on sexual diversity.