French Institutions

Crime of obstruction to abortion: the modified text is still deeply liberticidal

Abortion: a liberticidal text

By Grégor Puppinck1485250634355

Update: The Commission in charge of finding an amended version failed to agree on a consensus on Tuesday 24th January.

The text goes back to the Assemblée nationale for another reading on Thursday 26th January.

 

The Senate has just adopted a bill of law which extends once more the definition of the crime of obstruction to abortion. Despite the fact that it has been amended, is still deeply liberticidal. Indeed, it extends the crime of obstruction to “any means” of communication and to “moral and psychological pressures (…) against people seeking information on a voluntarily termination of pregnancy”.

This wording prohibits to make available any information on abortion, even true, as soon as they are likely to exercise a moral and psychological pressure on any person who seeks information on abortion. Hence, for example, this wording would prohibit the publication of pictures of aborted fetuses, of statistics on medical consequences of abortion, or of testimonies of women having badly lived their abortion. For the very content of these information, through their power, is enough in itself to exercise a moral pressure.

Another example: the publication of the teaching of the Church on abortion will make it possibly condemned by this law, for publishing that abortion is a “horrendous crime” and a “mortal sin” obviously exercises “moral and psychological pressures” on people trying to seek information on abortion. Hence this law limits the freedom of speech of some to preserve “the moral and psychological integrity” of others, so that the freedom of speech of some is limited by the feelings of others. It is the logic of anti-blasphemous laws: the person who receives the information pretends to be a victim of the content of the speech, and censors it.

To conclude, the new wording, even though better written in a formal point of view, deepens the violation of the freedom of speech by the crime of obstruction which really is a thought crime. It deeply reduces freedom of speech, allows to legally harass opponents to abortion and opens the door to more arbitrary.

The text will now be discussed and voted in the Assemblée nationale and can still be modified.

The text adopted by the Senate:

Is punished of two years imprisonment and 30,000 euros fine the fact of preventing or trying to prevent or to get informed on a voluntarily termination of pregnancy or on the acts previous to it as planned by articles L. 2212-3 to L. 2212-8:

  • either in disturbing in any way whatsoever access to establishments mentioned in article L. 2212-2, free circulation of people inside these establishments or work conditions of medical and non-medical staff;
  • or in exercising, by any means, moral and psychological pressures, threats or any act of intimidation against people seeking information on a voluntarily termination of pregnancy, medical and non-medical staff working in the establishments mentioned in the same article L. 2212-2, women who came to have a voluntarily termination of pregnancy or the relatives of these women.”

Translation by BMG