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Pro-life voices silenced in France and Scotland

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This week the French Senate passed a bill which could ban pro-life websites. 

The "Digital Interference" Bill, which was approved by the Senate by 173-126 votes, seeks to ban websites which "exert psychological or moral pressure to discourage recourse to abortion".

Also this week, a Scottish student pro-life group has been refused affiliation to its university's Student Association because it would "violate" the students' "safe space".

Andrea Williams, Chief Executive of Christian Concern, said: "These are attempts to hide the reality of abortion from the world. We must continue to speak the truth with courage and compassion."  

'Teaching itself would be sufficient for prosecution'

Proponents of the French law argue that the bill will ban websites that publish what they claim to be false information about a medical procedure. 

But pro-life groups are concerned that the bill would in fact prevent the pro-life position itself from being publicised online. 

Grégor Puppinck, the director of the European Centre for Law and Justice, said: "This law may prohibit the church from publishing its position on abortion. If you teach that it is a sin, then teaching itself would be sufficient for prosecution." 

If the bill becomes law, people who violate it would face up to two years in prison and €30,000 in fines. 

'Unrestricted pro-abortion propaganda'

Dr Joseph Meaney, director of international coordination for Human Life International, said we are "in the realm of unrestricted pro-abortion propaganda and the most stringent censorship of free speech".

He added that should the bill become law, it would be challenged in the courts. 

Bruno Retailleau, leader of the Republicans party group in the Senate, said that the bill is "totally against freedom of expression".

'No-platforming' of UK pro-life group

France’s move to censor the pro-life position comes as pro-life students in Scotland have been banned from setting up an official group at their university. 

The organisation was banned from becoming affiliated to the University of Strathclyde Students’ Association (USSA), because the USSA had adopted a formal pro-abortion stance. 

The decision to 'no-platform' means that Strathclyde Life Action will be denied access to funding and the ability to use facilities. The USSA claimed that allowing the pro-life group to be officially recognised would "violate" the students’ "safe space".

Law student Jamie McGowan, who is part of the group, said: "We believe life begins at fertilisation. That’s not a radical position and all we want is to be allowed to speak about it and have an opportunity to present an argument."

'True human equality begins in the womb'

A statement from Strathclyde Life Action group reads:

"Universities are places of freedom of thought, where ideas should be discussed, challenged and debated.

"Strathclyde Life Action would like to affirm that we are happy for the USSA to take positions on political issues; but we are not happy for USSA to shut down or disaffiliate societies simply because they don’t align with the modern progressive agenda.

"Our issue did not involve funding either; we only want a platform where we can stand up for what we believe. Students are all equally entitled to a political platform. We believe that our group’s existence is in fact a bastion of the term ‘diversity’ and we affirm our belief that true human equality begins in the womb."

Related links:
France moves to ban pro-life websites (Christian Institute)
France moves to ban pro-life websites (The Blaze)
Pro-life group banned from holding meetings at university (Premier)



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