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France Passes Law To Ban Pro-Life ‘Propaganda’ Websites

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Jacob Bojesson Foreign Correspondent
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The French Senate passed a bill Wednesday that will criminalize pro-life websites that spread “false information” to pregnant women.

The socialist government introduced the legislation to stop websites with a seemingly neutral stance on the issue from promoting “anti-abortion propaganda.” Violators will face up to two years in prison and a 30,000 euro ($32,000) fine.

The bill is an extension to a law from 1993, which makes it illegal to physically block people’s access to abortion clinics. Conservative lawmakers and the Catholic church call the ban a threat to freedom of expression in France.

The government says the law isn’t meant to clamp down on the pro-life stance in general, but rather to stop websites from “manipulating people.”

“Freedom of expression should not be confused with manipulating minds,” Family Minister Laurence Rossignol said during a debate, according to France 24. “Thirty years ago militants chained themselves to abortion clinics… today their successors are continuing this fight on the web.”

Abortion became a hot topic when a commercial to commemorate World Down Syndrome Day was banned. The commercial featured happy children with down syndrome cheering a positive message to future mothers. The French Council of State, the country’s highest administrative court, upheld the ban in November, saying it could “disturb the conscience” of French women who have aborted down syndrome fetuses. (RELATED: French Socialist Gov’t Rush To Ban Pro-Life Websites)

Francois Fillon, the conservative front-runner for the presidency, says he can’t “approve abortion” because of his faith, but that he wouldn’t make changes to the current legislation if elected.

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