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French ratcheting up censorship of and coercion against pro-life websites

by | Dec 2, 2016

By Dave Andrusko

French Socialist Party's women's minister Laurence Rossignol

French Socialist Party’s women’s minister Laurence Rossignol

Abridging free speech in France does not end with banning an enjoyable and affirming TV advertisement which (to quote Michael Cook) “ depicts Down syndrome children as loving, quirky, independent kids whose parents adore them.”

Now the French National Assembly in joining the Council of State in exhibiting blatant intolerance. France is moving (as they describe it) to ban “misleading anti-abortion websites.”

By “misleading” they mean websites which “emphasize the negative psychological and physical impacts that abortions can have on women.” Of course for standing up for free speech, opponents are labeled “right-wing politicians and Catholic organizations.”

The law, which would punish offenders with up to two years in prison and a €30,000 fine, now moves on the Senate.

Offering alternatives to abortion is, evidently, intolerable. “Freedom of expression should not be confused with manipulating minds,” said Laurence Rossignol, the socialist family minister, during debate.

According to the pro-abortion Guardian newspaper

Dominique Tian, a Republican MP, said there was a “very heavy atmosphere in parliament” and accused the government of “attacking freedom of expression”.

He said the government’s proposals were “dangerous for democracy and probably anti-constitutional”, and his party would do all it could to block them.

Last week Georges Pontier, the archbishop of Marseille and head of the French bishops’ conference, warned [President François] Hollande that the plans posed a threat to freedom of expression and “freedom of conscience”, and represented “a very serious attack on the principles of democracy”. Another bishop said the government was trying to act as “thought police”.

According to EuroNews, France already has a law that “makes it a crime to intimidate or pressure women into not having abortions.” The new measure would extend that to even what proponents [mislabel] exerting “psychological or moral pressure”—i.e., explaining why choosing life for a woman’s baby is better for everyone than aborting the child.