The French Senate just voted an amended text on numerical obstruction to abortion, broadening this offence to include any means of “pressure” opposing abortion on anyone searching for information on abortion.

Alliance VITA (whose SOS BABY crisis center was cited several times by the media) blames the government and the MPs for censuring those who refuse to trivialize abortion. What is truly at stake is access to impartial information, but also preventing pressure on women to abort.

Caroline Roux, Alliance VITA’s crisis center coordinator for the listening service’s hot lines emphasizes :

“It is unacceptable to target not only internet sites, but also adding all means of communication. Will it become a crime to inform women that abortion is not the only way out? Will it still be possible to help women in distress, especially the younger ones, the poorest, or those whose male partners exert pressure on them to abort? Abortion information given by the French public authorities completely fails to address the dilemma of women’s’ hesitation and the outside pressure exerted on some of them. In addition, the government website asserts that abortion has no long term psychological side effects, which is blatant misinformation. This is in contradiction with our field experience and with what numerous women live through. A huge majority of women is willing a genuine prevention policy on abortion. Therefore, it is perfectlyirresponsible to hide the truth about an act that is far from innocuous, since in every abortion, the destiny of a human life is at stake. The IFOP survey “The French and Abortion” published at the end of September, revealed how oversensitivethe French people feel about this issue: 72% are expecting an involvement from society to help women avoid abortion.”     

Tugdual Derville, Alliance VITA’s General Delegate states :

« The Senate’s new text emphasizes the partial attitude that we are precisely denouncing: for the government only “pressures” from those who hinder access to abortion are questionable and can be opposed.

Firstly this is unfair, because no one will be allowed to protect women from the numerous pressures they are submitted to, pushing them to abort, especially the pressure from their partners. In many ways, abortion is a violence against women when it is decided and imposed by men. Furthermore, it is dangerous for every citizen who believes that abortion is a tragedy to be avoided if possible. Shall we have to renounce proposing help to women who would find this information useful when faced with an unexpected pregnancy, because we are afraid of the legal consequences? Even more so, since this broad range offence concerns every individual who wants to be informed about abortion, even when he (or she) is not personally implicated. In any case, we will not be gagged by censure, or by threats, because women have a right to know the truth.”

While the « Thought Police » keep pretending that abortion is a trivial act, censuring any contestation, while the government shows no qualms about misinforming women on its own “official” website, denying the reality of abortion and itsconsequences, Alliance VITA will continue to speak freely, to offer assistance and to provide reliable information to any person calling their crisis center, in a caring and respectful manner.