Abortion in Guatemala was illegal without exception prior to 1973. Congressional Decree 17-73 altered the penal code to allow abortion in cases in which the pregnant woman's life is endangered in September 1973. The procedure must be done by a physician and approved by a second doctor.
Article 3 of Chapter I in Title II of the Constitution of Guatemala grants the right to life from the point of conception. This article states that the government "guarantee and protects human life since its conception, as same as the integrity and security of the person."