Guatemala orders expulsion of abortion ship, crew

AP News
Posted: Feb 24, 2017 9:35 PM

GUATEMALA CITY (AP) — Guatemala's immigration office on Friday ordered the expulsion of a ship run by a Dutch nonprofit organization that performs free abortions onboard in international waters.

The office said in a statement that it was also expelling the crew of the ship operated by Women on Waves, which travels the globe offering abortion services to women in countries where the procedure is illegal.

Guatemalan law prohibits abortion and allows the government to expel foreigners based on perceived risks to national interests, national security or public safety.

Earlier, the Guatemalan military had prevented the group from picking up women for the procedure in the Pacific port of Quetzal, where the ship is located. The military said it was under instructions from President Jimmy Morales to not allow the activity.

Earlier, Women on Waves spokeswoman Leticia Zenevich said they selected Guatemala as the first country they visited in Latin America because of the strength of its women's organizations. In a blog post, the group said it was appealing the expulsion order and had not committed any illegal act.