Pro-life propaganda websites outlawed in France

Pro-life websites that spread “propaganda” and “misinformation” about abortions may soon be criminalised in France.

The French National Assembly has moved to punish offenders with up to two years in prison and a €30,000 fine.

The bill has now been moved to the Senate where it will be further debated.

The bill aims to extend the powers of a law passed in 1993. In that it became a crime to “intimidate women into not having abortions”.

It’s purpose was to prevent protesters from blocking access to clinics.

The new law will extend the 1993 legislation to cover websites that “exert psychological or moral pressure” on women who are seeking information about abortions.

Its supporters say if the bill is passed into law, seemingly neutral websites won’t be allowed to push hidden agendas that coerce women into having their babies.

Laurence Rossignol, the socialist family minister, pointed out several website examples during a debate about the bill.

He cited websites that “shame women into not terminating their pregnancies” and others that stress abortion’s psychological and physical downsides.

Catholics and conservative politicians have condemned the new law. They say it is a violation of free speech.

Last week, Catholic Archbishop Georges Pontier published a letter to President François Holland. In this he points out the law violated freedom of expression.

Bruno Retailleau, a senator from the center-right republican party, is concerned alternatives to abortion would be stifled by the new law.


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