Friday, December 16, 2016

French lawmakers ban websites that spread 'false information' on abortion

French Senators on Thursday passed a bill to ban pro-life websites from spreading "false information" about abortion, following a heated debate with rightwing lawmakers who argued it would contravene freedom of expression.

Freedom of expression is one thing, lies that go against cold hard facts and you trying to present those lies as facts is another.

"Freedom of expression should not be confused with manipulating minds," Socialist Family Minister Laurence Rossignol said as the debate kicked off last week.

The 1993 law needs to be adapted to "the digital reality", Rossignol said. "Thirty years ago militants chained themselves to abortion clinics... today their successors are continuing this fight on the web."

The bill, which now goes back to lower house of parliament for final approval, punishes attempts to indimidate women seeking an abortion by up to two years in prison and a fine of 30,000 euros ($31,900).

Corina Marinescu

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