In an effort to silence Pro-life websites and activists, a new law in France will impose a punishment that includes a maximum sentence of two years in prison and a fine of $30,000 if a person makes anti-abortion remarks.
The reason? According to the law, it’s for “spreading or transmitting allegations or indications liable to intentionally mislead, with the purpose of deterring [from abortion], on the characteristics or medical consequences of a voluntary interruption” of pregnancy. In layman’s terms, if a person states that abortions have adverse physical and mental side effects, they are breaking the law because according to lawmakers there is no proof of this claim. The offense has been formally named “numerical obstruction.”
Last Thursday set the final stage of a lawmaking process that saw multiple versions of the law come before the Assembly and the Senate. The upper house tried on several occasions to lessen the severity of the wording but never intended to completely get rid of the proposal. In cases, where no agreement can be made between the two governing bodies, the National Assembly has the final word, and so the law was passed virtually outlawing pro-life speech.(RELATED: Read more news like this at Censored.news)
The major problem with the wording of this legislation is that any person or group that speaks out publicly against abortion or calls attention to the dangers associated with the procedure can become subject to criminal prosecution. This could go on to include protests or handing out pamphlets related to a pro-life movement.
Abortion is funded by tax money during the first 12 weeks of gestation and considered a “Fundamental Right” in France. The government felt compelled to take legislative action when they discovered that Google searches for abortion providers would also bring up results for pro-life websites that discourage the voluntary termination of pregnancy.
According to The New American, “the pro-life sites explained that there are risks associated with abortion, and suggested places where a pregnant woman could go if she wished to seek help in keeping the baby. The pro-life groups assert that abortion can have negative side effects and cause health problems or psychological consequences.”
The French government states there is no proof of adverse health effects associated with abortion; therefore the website is perpetuating a lie. “Freedom of expression does not signify a right to lying,” asserted Laurence Rossignol, French Minister for Families, Children, and Women’s Rights. There are however numerous studies that prove abortions can have negative side effects that the Ministry is obviously choosing to ignore. (Read more news like this at Abortions.news)
To contrast pro-life websites like www.ivg.net, the Ministry of Health created a pro-abortion website that provided information only on access to abortion, as opposed to giving options for both termination and family planning. Instead, the Government site provides a page on what the Ministry of Health calls “misinformation about the voluntary interruption of pregnancy,” and they argue that pro-life sites are not information sites, but are rather just pretending to be. Women are also provided with addresses and encouraged to go to Planned Parenthood or other pro-abortion clinics. The site makes it a point to say that “post-abortive trauma” isn’t very prevalent, however “some women” may have a negative experience after the fact.
In response to the outrage from pro-life citizens Rossignol claims, “anti-abortion activists will remain free to express their hostility to abortion, provided they are honest about who they are, what they do, and what they want.” If a pro-life site does not do that, said Rossignol, then it is guilty of “manipulating minds.” The law is obviously written to impose itself upon the freedom of speech of pro-life activists. Further proof of this comes from the fact that there is no provision in the law to punish pro-abortionists for disseminating “misleading” information.
There is, however, resistance to the new law. Jean-Marie Le Mene, President of the Fondation Lejeune, stated, “That which dissuades from abortion is not false information, but correct information.” The France equivalent to the Republican party called the law an infringement on freedom of expression and voted in opposition. They have vowed to ask the Constitutional Council to set the law aside as being contrary to the French Constitution’s protections of free speech.