Honduran lawmakers vote to lock in bans on abortion, same-sex marriage

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12/25/2021

TEGUCIGALPA, Jan 21 (Reuters) – Members of the Honduran Congress voted on Thursday to amend the constitution making it much harder to reverse existing hard-line bans on abortion and same-sex marriage, as lawmakers double down on socially conservative priorities. Lawmakers voted to require a three-quarters super-majority to change a constitutional article that gives a fetus the same legal status of a person, and another that states that civil marriage in the Central American nation can only be between a man and a woman. With 88 legislators in favor, 28 opposed and seven abstentions, the proposal will still need a second vote in the unicameral legislature next year before it is enacted. Currently, all constitutional changes require a two-thirds majority vote of the 128-member body. Mario Perez, a lawmaker with the ruling party of President Juan Orlando Hernandez, explained during a virtual floor debate that the change will create a “constitutional lock” on any would-be softening of the existing articles. The country’s criminal code sets out three to six-year prison terms for women who abort a fetus as well as anyone else involved.

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