After the French Joint Parliamentary Committee failed to reach an agreement on the bill, a new version has just been voted which combines the amendments made during the first reading, by the MP’s as well as by the Senators.
At this stage, the result is an alarming bill which infringes the right to freedom of speech and the right, for the women concerned, to be correctly informed. The impartiality of information is at stake, as well as any preventive measures on pressure to abort, which are currently both denied and ignored. By combining both versions, the scope of the offence has been considerably extended. Any individual “searching information on abortion” even off the premises where abortions are practiced, and even if the person is not considering an abortion herself, can declare she is a victim of pressure. Henceforth, any real debate on abortion would be forbidden.
Caroline Roux, Alliance VITA’s Coordinator for Listening Services Crisis Center declares:
The debate as well as the final text adopted by the MP’s are completely preposterous. Every day our services listen to women who wonder whether or not to continue with their pregnancy, and we perfectly understand how unfair this is for women who are already facing biased and incomplete public information. The government shows no qualms about misleading women on its own “official” website, denying the reality of abortion and its consequences. If a woman voices her pain following an abortion will she be convicted of the crime of “dissuading”? This offence severely infringes the right to freedom of speech. It cracks down on those helping women to avoid abortion, if they wish so – a social mission which the public authorities refuse to fulfill. Here is the really unbelievable scandal that should be denounced. Showing the truth about abortion, without trying to hide its consequences, is a question of social justice and humanity.”
Tugdual Derville, Alliance VITA’s General Delegate states:
« Because our initial request has gone unanswered, Alliance VITA will now file suit against the government to have their video purporting that abortion has no long-term psychological side-effects, deleted from their web site, because this information is biased. It is not only an outrageous contempt of the truth, but a particularly painful rejection of what some women live through. In addition, we request for the presidential election candidates, to formally oppose the dozen of legislative and regulatory measures which have been implemented to trivialize abortion, especially since abortion is now free of charge whereas the acts for continuing with a pregnancy are not. Such discrimination is highly symbolic of the government’s pressure to abort.”
On November 30, 2016, Alliance VITA sent a registered letter to French Health Minister, Marisol Touraine, via its Barrister Hugues Hourdin, officially requesting that inexact or biased information be deleted from the government’s abortion web site: www.ivg.social-sante.gouv.fr. This information is misleading for individuals who consult their site.
On November 29, 2016 our association launched an unprecedented information campaign to reduce abortion, focused on men’s opinion to clarify misunderstandings on sexuality, contraception and pregnancy. These misconceptions account for many abortions that women reluctantly undergo, and which could be avoided.