Guatemalan Army Blocks Dutch Abortion Boat


The Guatemalan army says it will block the activities of an “abortion boat” docked on its shores. The Dutch abortion group, Women on Waves, offers free abortions to women in countries where abortion is illegal, performing the abortions in international waters. It has previously targeted women in Ireland.


Abortion is illegal in Guatemala, and the Army said it had been instructed by President Jimmy Morales to act, and would defend “human life and the laws of our country” by preventing the group from carrying out abortions. Officials are preventing activists from disembarking from the ship, and women will not be allowed to board the boat, reports say.


The Women on Waves’ boat docked on the Pacific Ocean port of Quetzal, in the city of San Jose, last month. The group says it has a legal permit to sail in Guatemalan waters and claims the boat is being illegally detained by the authorities.


Guatemala's Catholic Church, other religious leaders and politicians protested against the presence of the boat. “The boat of death has arrived in Guatemala,” said lawmaker Raul Romero during a Congress session the day the boat docked.

BBC. February 24.

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