Culture of Death: French gvmt announces plan to criminalize websites opposing abortion
The Latest culture of death news...
The French minister for Families, Childhood and Women’s Rights is celebrating the Global Day of Action for Access to Safe and Legal Abortion with a plan to gag a number of websites that “mislead” women into thinking they give complete and honest information on abortion.Laurence Rossignol unveiled plans to criminalize those sites that aim to dissuade women from obtaining a “voluntary interruption of pregnancy,” a procedure that is 100 percent state-funded in France during the first 12 weeks of gestation. Offenders will incur prison sentences of up to two years and fines up to 30,000 euro (about $33,650) when the plan becomes law. Rossignol has announced that the government will propose an amendment to a law entitled “Equality and Citizenship” to be examined by the French Senate on October 4.
The new offense, called “numerical obstruction,” aims to crack down on what Rossignol calls “manipulation” and “biased information” via the Internet in view of convincing women not to have an abortion.
“Moral and psychological maneuvers” in order to prevent abortion were criminalized in France as long ago as in 1993, ostensibly to prevent pro-life activists from trying to convince pregnant women to keep their baby. At the time, they were active near hospitals where abortions are performed. (In France, all public hospitals offering obstetrical services are required to procure abortions.) Fines and prison sentences were already hefty but in practice were seldom inflicted.
But the way the existing law is worded theoretically allows for prosecution of any kind of “pressure” in favor of life on a woman who is pregnant and seeking to put an end to her pregnancy. One example is that of a well-known pro-life activist, retired pediatrician Xavier Dor, who was heavily condemned last year for having shown knitted baby boots to a presumably pregnant woman at a Planned Parenthood center in Paris.
The Internet crackdown requires a new legal incrimination because it is difficult to prove that a woman has in effect been personally pushed to keeping her child by having consulted a website.
The government’s first move against Internet sites that present the negative aspects of abortion — such as www.ivg.net, which speaks of the psychological risks and the trauma of abortion, as well as of pressures on women to abort and their subsequent regret, and offers a help line — was to create a counter-site.
The official government information website on abortion presents addresses and data for a woman to obtain an abortion. It also goes to great lengths to say “post-abortive trauma” does not exist even though “some women” will have a bad experience. It opens with the words: “IVG (the French acronym for voluntary abortion, my choice, my right.”
But government efforts to minimize the impact of ivg.net and other sites that seek to tell the truth about the trauma of abortion (from the woman’s point of view…) were to no avail. Ivg.net comes up first on Internet searches and has recently been joined by a modern, savvy site called “Afterbaiz” (loosely translated to “Afterbang,” and, yes, the site is definitely and regrettably vulgar and explicit) that reaches out to the young generation and poses uncomfortable questions about promiscuity and abortion.
This last site is probably what made Rossignol boil. The tone and graphics of the site look decidedly liberated and recall official sex-education and informative leaflets for adolescents. But its message is not fully conforming to the pro-abortion stance of the French government, which the socialists have taken to paroxystic levels.
Rossignol made clear that “pro-life sites” are not in danger of being censured: “Being against ‘IVG’ is a opinion that may be publicly expressed,” she said in an interview with the left-wing Internet media rue89.nouvelobs.com. The new law aims to prosecute “dissimulation:” the fact that sites purporting to give full information about abortion are in fact hiding the fact that they want to dissuade women from aborting by making them feel “guilty.”
“Abortion is a right in France and it is recognized as such by the law. Women should be able to choose with complete freedom,” she said.
The minister indicated that sites such as ivg.net and Afterbaiz should only be allowed to function if they present themselves clearly as being anti-abortion. She is intent on forcing compliance by means of heavy fines and imprisonment.
A look at the government information website (www.ivg.social-sante.gouv.fr) shows, however, that women can’t expect complete information at that site, which is unequivocally pro-abortion. It explicitly denounces “certain sites” that speak about maternity as well as about abortion, and it downplays the possible bad effects of abortion on the mother. Even in its description of surgical abortion, it speaks about the removal of the “egg.”
Rossignol, in her interview with rue89, discusses the “vulnerability” of women who are pregnant and clearly accuses those who would try to bring them to abandon the idea of abortion. She also says government information is not intended to induce women to have an abortion. She speaks of the “toxicity” of websites that speak of the true trauma of abortion, suggesting that she could not even imagine speaking with their leaders and moderators. She wants to “protect women and girls.”
And what about the liberty of the press and of the Internet? Rossignol proclaims that she cannot “limit liberty of opinion.” She only wants to “limit the dissimulation of an opinion,” she told rue89. But everything points to the fact that it is the opinion itself – any expression of a pro-life, anti-abortion stance, however cautious – that should be punished by French penal law.
Planned Parenthood Founder Margaret Sanger Thought “Unfit” People Were Multiplying Too Rapidly
Suppose you get a fundraising appeal from an organization that seems commendable. You consider clicking “Donate Now” to hand over $20. But you find out that the organization’s founder said that its purpose was “nothing more or less than the facilitation of the process of weeding out the unfit, of preventing the birth of defectives or of those who would become defective.” Your money is now headed elsewhere.That is what Planned Parenthood, the nation’s largest abortion chain, fears.
Over the last few years, Margaret Sanger – Planned Parenthood’s founder – has been increasingly in the news, and it has not always been positive. Despite the strenuous efforts of an army of reporters, celebrities and tenured professors, the public is learning the truth about Sanger: While a fervent crusader and an organizational genius, she had a dark side.
Margaret Sanger (1879-1966) founded what would come to be called Planned Parenthood in 1916, after an education in Greenwich Village bohemian socialism and free-love ideology, with a good dose of British neo-Malthusianism as well. Neo-Malthusianism was a marriage of eugenics and population control that was popular around the turn of the 20th century among progressives.
It took its name from Thomas Malthus (1766-1834), who had claimed that food production would inevitably be outstripped by population growth. He was wrong, as agricultural revolutions even in his own time and again in the 20th century dramatically increased the amount of food the world produces.
But neo-Malthusians never let facts get in the way of a good story, and here the story was that the so-called “unfit” were multiplying much more rapidly than the supposedly “fit.” What they needed was contraception, or “birth control,” a term Sanger popularized: the control of the births of the “unfit” (the poor, the disabled, the putatively unintelligent) by the “fit” (Sanger and her friends). The neo-Malthusians exclaimed, “Quality, not quantity”: eugenic quality, not population quantity.
Sanger’s progressivism was no hindrance to her embrace of eugenics; elite eugenicists were usually progressives. Eugenics was the enlightened way to a better world: It supposedly got at the roots of social problems.
Think of it this way: If you are a neo-Malthusian, you are convinced that all the world’s problems–war, poverty, etc.–are due to women having too many babies. It’s good for society to slow the reproduction of the poor and stupid (remember, you are a neo-Malthusian). What is good for society must be encouraged.
But if someone is truly “unfit,” he or she is too stupid or out-of-control to stop reproducing voluntarily. So, as Sanger wrote in 1921, governments should “attempt to restrain, either by force or persuasion, the moron and the imbecile from producing his large family of feeble-minded offspring.”
Now you understand Sanger’s support of forced sterilization of the “unfit,” something enthusiastically promoted by many of her friends and collaborators, such as former Planned Parenthood president Alan Guttmacher (after whom Planned Parenthood’s former research arm is named) or Clarence Gamble, who used his fortune to set up sterilization clinics throughout the South and Midwest.
Click here to sign up for pro-life news alerts from LifeNews.com
Gamble was proud of his work promoting involuntary sterilization but complained in 1947 that there was much more to do: “For every one man or woman who has been sterilized, there are 40 others who can continue to pour defective genes into the State’s bloodstream to pollute and degrade future generations.”
Sanger was one of the first to argue that women were oppressed, not by sexist societal structures and attitudes, but by their own physiology. They had to be liberated from themselves, from the demands of their own bodies.
This kind of denigration of the female body would seem to be a bad foundation for feminism. But for Sanger, there was literally nothing more to feminism than that. You might think that feminism should be about liberating women from sexism in society. Sanger thought she knew better: Feminism is about liberating women from themselves.
How does Planned Parenthood respond to all of this? It will say that anyone important in the 1920s and 1930s was a eugenicist. More or less true–but does that make eugenics any less reprehensible? We don’t excuse slaveholders just because all their important friends in 1860 were also pro-slavery.
Planned Parenthood will also say that we should give Sanger the same pass we give Thomas Jefferson: He was a slaveholder, yet we still praise him for his other accomplishments. But the analogy doesn’t hold.
Jefferson recognized that slavery was incompatible with the principles of the new American republic and struggled with the issue his whole life. Sanger never agonized over her support of eugenics, and she founded institutions whose aims explicitly included the promotion of eugenics. Jefferson not only did not make the promotion of slavery his main enterprise, he even called it an “abominable crime.”
Sanger was so committed to eugenics that she was a lifelong member of the American Eugenics Society. This gives the lie to another argument by Sanger supporters, namely, that Sanger’s support of eugenics was merely pragmatic. She didn’t really believe it, they say, but she put up with eugenicists to get their support. But no one reading Sanger’s personal letters can think she was anything but what she said she was: a eugenicist.
Just to give one example: in 1955, she wrote her niece complaining about the shift in rhetoric from “birth control” (which was her preferred term, because it emphasized the control of the “unfit”) to “family planning.” She writes, “I see no wider meaning of family planning than control and as for restriction, there are definitely some families throughout the world where there is every indication that restriction should be an order as (well as) an ideal for the betterment of the family and the race.”
These private words confided to her niece in the last decades of her life show how deep Sanger’s commitment was to “restricting” the reproduction and thereby the freedom of the “unfit.”
To use terms Sanger would understand: With all this eugenic junk in the organization’s DNA, can Planned Parenthood really be trusted today?
LifeNews Note: Angela Franks, Ph.D., is the author of Margaret Sanger’s Eugenic Legacy (McFarland, 2005) and the Director of Theology Programs for the Theological Institute for the New Evangelization (TINE) at Saint John’s Seminary in Boston.
The BBC has published a magazine feature on actress Sally Phillips and her upcoming documentary, “A world without Down’s syndrome?”The piece says that ninety per cent of people in the UK who know their child has Down’s syndrome will have an abortion. It also expresses concerns that the new NIPT (non-invasive prenatal blood test) will increase the numbers still further.
Sally Phillips, famous for her roles in Bridget Jones and Miranda, recounts the doctor saying ,”I’m sorry, I’m so sorry” and the nurse crying when her son Olly was diagnosed with Down’s syndrome 10 days after his birth. But she says that life with Olly is not what they expected.
“I was told it was a tragedy and actually it’s a comedy. It’s like a sitcom where something appears to go wrong but there’s nothing bad at the end of it.”
Click here to sign up for pro-life news alerts from LifeNews.com
The article also links to the TED talk given by Karen Gaffney, a 38 year old American woman with Down’s syndrome, who features in the documentary.
Abortion activists in Poland are urging women to strike on Monday to protest a bill that would protect unborn babies’ right to life by banning all abortions.The Independent reports the Polish abortion activists hope to cripple the nation’s economy with their strike on Monday. In coordination with the strike, the organizers are planning to hold pro-abortion protests in Krakow and other cities across Europe.
The strong Catholic country already prohibits most abortions. In Poland, abortion is legal in cases of rape and incest, the life or health of the mother or severe fetal deformities – though “severe” is widely defined and unborn babies with Down syndrome and other disabilities have been legally aborted under the current law.
The new citizen-led bill, which has strong support from the public and several leading government officials, would prohibit abortions except when the mother’s life is in jeopardy. The bill would criminalize abortion for causing the “death of a conceived child.” Doctors who do abortions and women who have them could face jail time of up to five years.
Click here to sign up for pro-life news alerts from LifeNews.com
Last week, Polish Members of Parliament voted 267 to 154 to move the “Stop Abortion” legislation forward for further review in committee.
“We are very pleased to see such a strong vote for life, especially since members know they will be facing economic threats from the European Union,” said Ewa Kowalewska, director of Human Life International Poland. “With this vote you see the heart of the Polish people, since MPs were allowed to vote their conscience.”
Almost half a million Polish citizens signed the citizen-led bill, and a recent poll found that 58 percent of Poles support a ban on abortions, according to The Wall Street Journal. Pro-lifers are hopeful that the bill will become law; however, pro-abortion groups, the United Nations and others are working against the life-saving legislation.
Pro-abortion leaders organizing the #czarnyprotest, or black protest, said a number of businesses plan to close on Monday to participate in the strike. Abortion activists also want women to wear black and post photos of themselves on social media on Monday, the Krakow Post reports.
“Black protest in defense of the right to life and health of women in Poland,” a pro-abortion leaflet reads. “We demand access to reliable sex education, contraception and effective in vitro procedures. We oppose the further tightening abortion laws.”
The pro-life bill began gaining attention last winter after a horrific story came to light about a late-term baby who allegedly was born alive after a failed abortion attempt at a Warsaw hospital and screamed for an hour as it was left to die. Some news outlets reported that the baby may have been aborted because of Down syndrome, but that was not confirmed.
Two leading government officials support the pro-life legislation. Prime Minister Beata Szydlo told Radio Poland that she supports the citizen bill, and Jaroslaw Kaczynski, leader of the ruling Law and Justice Party in Poland, said he plans to follow Catholic leaders’ call to pass the measure. The Law and Justice party also has been supporting increased government spending on programs to help children and their families, according to Polish news reports.
Catholic leaders have been among the most vocal advocates for the legislation. In April, Polish priests read a statement from the pulpit in support of the bill, LifeNews reported.
“Catholics’ position on this is clear, and unchangeable. One needs to protect every person’s life from conception to natural death,” the Polish bishops said in the statement. “We ask the lawmakers and the government to initiate the legislation.”
Obama Admin Proposes Rule Prohibiting States From Defunding Planned Parenthoodproposed rule from the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) could prevent states from blocking Title X funding (federal dollars for family planning services) to abortion companies like Planned Parenthood.
Today, Sen. David Vitter, a Louisiana Republican, joined more than 100 Members of Congress in sending a bipartisan and bicameral letter to U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Sylvia Burwell expressing opposition to the Department’s new proposed rule. The Obama Administration rule, which would funnel federal tax dollars to abortion providers such as Planned Parenthood, was met with widespread opposition due to its mandates over state governments and for the proposed government-funded abortion requirements.
“Taxpayer funding should in no way support abortions, but that’s exactly what this Obama Administration proposed rule would allow by forcing federal dollars to abortion mills like Planned Parenthood — even if an individual state has prohibited it,” Vitter said. “We are strongly urging HHS to reconsider this wildly overreaching and politically motivated rule, giving states the ability to govern themselves in the ways they see fit.”
SIGN THE PLEDGE: I Pledge to Vote for a Pro-Life Candidate for President
Today’s letter is critical of HHS’ claims that providers with a family planning health focus are more “effective” than other health care providers which offer more widespread care for citizens. If the rule’s claim is reputed, it would establish a nationwide directive that these more specialized providers receive priority for the receipt of Title X granted funds at the expense of other clinics like comprehensive primary care providers and community health centers.
During the last few Congresses, Vitter has lead legislation in the U. S. Senate to prohibit federal family planning funds from being awarded to any grantee that performs abortions by amending the Public Health Service Act. His bill is called the Title X Abortion Provider Prohibition Act. U.S. Representative Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.) has authored companion legislation in the U.S. House of Representatives.
In March 2016, Vitter, along with U.S. Representatives Diane Black (R-Tenn.) and Pete Olson (R-Texas) led a group of more than 120 Members of Congress requesting the GAO to investigate how taxpayer funding is specifically used by Planned Parenthood and other federally funded organizations that perform or promote abortion. In April, GAO announced they would conduct the investigation in response to the Members’ request.
Congresswoman Black has also criticized Obama for the proposal to stops states from defunding Planned Parenthood.
“This latest stunt from President Obama’s Department of Health and Human Services should surprise absolutely no one,” Rep. Diane Black told LifeNews.com
“We’ve known all along that the Obama Administration will go to untold lengths to protect its friends in the big abortion industry. After all, this Administration has previously used backdoor maneuvers to line Planned Parenthood’s pockets with Obamacare navigator grants and praised the abortion provider’s ‘high ethical standard’ even after it was caught trafficking in baby body parts,” Black said.
She continued: “Now, they have taken the unprecedented step of thwarting states’ rights with a shady proposed rule change that prevents states from funding the providers who will best serve their citizens. In the coming days, I intend to lead a letter expressing the deep concerns of Members of Congress on this proposal, but we won’t stop there. We must use the full force of Congress and the grassroots strength of the national pro-life movement to defeat this absurd rule and prevent the Obama Administration from acting unilaterally to carry out political favors and prop up a scandal-ridden abortion provider.”
Here’s an example of how Obama’s proposed rule would prevent states from revoking taxpayer funding for the abortion company Planned Parenthood.
Under current state law, the state of Tennessee doles out Title X funding provided by HHS to county health departments, who then determine appropriate sub-grantees. All 95 counties have identified community health centers and other providers aside from Planned Parenthood who meet all Title X eligibility criteria to receive this funding, effectively cutting off Planned Parenthood’s access to Title X funds in the state of Tennessee.
The proposed rule from HHS cites other examples of states such as Florida and Texas enacting or attempting to enact similar measures. The rule would attempt to undermine such state laws, explaining that it “precludes project recipients [states] from using criteria in their selection of subrecipients that are unrelated to the ability to deliver services to program beneficiaries in an effective manner.”