Freedom of speech for French pro-life websites under attack - we must all respond!
On Wednesday, 7 December, the French Senate will vote on a hugely significant piece of legislation for France, and possibly, for the rest of Europe.
If passed, the legislation would negatively affect freedom of speech in France, and could influence other European legislatures, if similiar initiatives were to be proposed in other countries.
For this reason, our friends at the French organisation, Ensemble pour le Bien Commun (or, Together for the Common Good), launched this petition to the Minister responsible, seeking for the withdrawl of this Bill from the legislative process, and are now calling on the French Senate to reject this totalitarian piece of legislation.
And, because we view the wider implications with alarm, CitizenGO are happy to support Ensemble pour le Bien Commun, by broadening the petition to include an appeal to the Council of Europe's Committee on Political Affairs and Democracy.
CitizenGO want to ensure that everyone in Europe knows what the French Government are doing in relation to free speech, and knows that it is wrongheaded.
Here is the vital information on the amendment to the Equality and Citizenship Bill:
The Minister of Families, Children and the Rights of Women, Mme Laurence Rossignol, put forward an amendment to the aforementioned Bill which has now passed the French National Assembly (the lower house of Parliament).
The intention of introducing this amendment was to make it more difficult for pro-life websites to operate in France.
Already in France, "obstructing" abortion at hospitals or abortion clinics, simply by distributing pro-life information, is punishable by two years' imprisonment and a fine of €30,000. This is bad enough.
But, now, with the Minister's new amendment, this "offence" would incredibly be extended to websites which, in the Minister's Orwellian newspeak, carry "a distorted presentation, to mislead, for a dissuasive purpose, on the nature and consequences of an abortion".
So, in other words: if a French pro-life website were to dissuade a woman from seeking an abortion, by telling the truth about abortion, or by offering her assistance, the pro-life organisation could be hit with a massive fine or jail time, or both.
This is simply outrageous!
However, the websites which the Minister accuses of being "misleading", such as Afterbaiz.com, Ivg.net, and, lessurvivants.com, actually provide objective information and assistance that the Government, and its affiliated associations, refuse to provide. In short, they do the work that the state should do and does not do.
CitizenGO and Together for the Common Good, therefore, wish to denounce, through this petition, the Minister's legislative effort as an inadmissible and dangerous breach of freedom of opinion and expression guaranteed by Article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which states:
"Everyone has a Right to freedom of opinion and expression, which implies the right not to be disturbed for those opinions, and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any means of communication, regardless of borders".
Religious and other, more rational political forces are also opposed to this proposal.
French Cardinal, André Armand Vingt-Trois, has also denounced the amendment as, "the dictatorship of a totalitarian vision on abortion". And, Jean-Frédéric Poisson, President of the PCD (French Christian-Democratic Party), has said that, with such proposals, "totalitarianism is on the march! ".
We must now press the French Senate to reject this Bill and attached amendment, and we must make it known, to the MPs in the Council of Europe, that this type of proposal is not only unacceptable in France, but unacceptable everywhere in Europe.
This is your opportunity to react.
Please don't let it pass by without doing something! Please sign the petition to help preserve both French and European democracy. Thank you!
FOR MORE INFORMATION:
Sign this petition now!
Censorship of pro-life websites has no place in a "free society"