Pro-life activists target rural Nepali women

Pro-life activists target rural Nepali women
Tara Todras-Whitehill, with additional reporting by Rojita Adhikari, CNN
Sat June 09, 2018

Kathmandu, Nepal (CNN) Pastor Soman Rai and his group of volunteers from Kathmandu walk to a small church in the village of Shilaprabat, in Sindhupalchock, an area left devastated by the deadly earthquakes that shook Nepal three years ago.

The only way to access the area, located some 80km (50 miles) east of the capital, is via a wire footbridge and a narrow dirt path.

Once there, Rai and the group set up a table of pamphlets, and hang a large sign with the colorful handprints of children around the slogan "I Choose Life." At the bottom of the banner is the name of Rai's organization -- Voice of Fetus Nepal.


France Bans Anti-Abortion Websites that Spread False Health Information

by Sirin Kale
Dec 9 2016, Broadly

Lawmakers in the European country have just passed a bill criminalizing anti-abortion sites that lie about the medical procedure. But is it the answer?

It's been a year of misinformation and bullshit, propaganda and lies—and I'm just talking mainstream Western politics. If you believe we're living in a post-truth age, where conjecture passes for fact and supposition for orthodoxy, you're probably right—but there's a caveat. Anti-abortion activists will say pretty much anything to deny women their reproductive rights, and they always have done. After all, every day is a post-truth day in an anti-abortion activist's world.

[continued at link]
Source: Broadly

French government moves to ban misleading anti-abortion websites

by Safe Abortion, Dec 9

The French National Assembly has passed a law outlawing the promotion of false and misleading information about abortion on the internet, which will now go to the Senate. The text of the provision is one sentence:

“Lutte contre les pratiques de désinformation, notamment sur Internet, induisant intentionnellement en erreur ou exerçant une pression psychologique sur les femmes et leur entourage en matière d’IVG.”

(Opposition to the practice of disinformation, in particular on the Internet, of intentionally promoting errors, or intentionally putting psychological pressure on women and those close to them in the matter of abortion.)

The law would punish offenders with up to two years in prison and a €30,000 fine.

Of course, the anti-abortion movement in France is upset about it and complaining about limiting their so-called freedom of speech. But what is unclear is why they feel a need to promote false and misleading information and intimidate women in the first place. It is actually possible to be anti-abortion without using false information in your messaging, let alone trying to tell women how to live their lives.

But they haven’t stopped women having abortions, and perhaps that is why they have begun telling women lies. However, when lies can hurt people, the state has a responsibility to intervene. Companies are not permitted to lie about the contents or purpose or safety of products or medicines. So why does the anti-abortion movement think there is nothing wrong with lying to women, and by implication think there is nothing wrong with adversely affecting women’s lives?

A report in the Guardian describes the websites concerned as masquerading as neutral, appearing to offer officially approved services with a freephone helpline number but actually promoting anti-abortion propaganda and pressuring women who contact them not to terminate pregnancies. Another media source talks about the websites intimidating women seeking information about abortion services.

The president of the French Conference of Bishops has written to Prime Minister Hollande asking him to intervene to stop passage of the law and the Archbishop of Marseille has called it a violation of the principles of democracy. So do they defend telling women lies too?

“Freedom of expression should not be confused with manipulating minds,” Socialist Minister for Women’s Rights Laurence Rossignol said, as the debate kicked off last week.

François Fillon, recently chosen to stand for election next year as a candidate for a right-wing party, was accused on Europe 1 by Alain Juppé, who was running against him, of changing his stance on abortion from support for abortion as a fundamental right (stated in a book he wrote), to saying he had made a mistake and now did not approve of abortion. He also said, however, that he will not try to overturn the landmark 1975 law legalising the practice. Unfortunately, there are not as yet laws against changing your views for political advantage.

SOURCES: Le Monde, by Cécile Chambraud, 29 November 2016 ; The Guardian, by Angelique Chrisafis, 1 December 2016 ; France24, 7 December 2016 ; PHOTO

Source: International Campaign for Women's Right to Safe Abortion

France: Making it an offence to knowingly provide false information about abortion

October 7, 2016, by Safe Abortion

During the last week of September 2016, the French Minister for Families, Childhood and Women’s Rights Laurence Rossignol tabled a regulation as part of a bill on equality and citizenship in the French Senate that aimed to make it an offence for websites to convey “false allegations or give a distorted presentation of information on the nature and consequences of an abortion, in order to mislead with a deterrent purpose” (un amendement pour élargir le délit d’entrave à l’IVG à l’expression numérique. Il prévoirait d’introduire un délit contre les sites qui véhiculent «des allégations ou une présentation faussées, pour induire en erreur dans un but dissuasif sur la nature et les conséquences d’une IVG»).

The amendment was not approved, but it raises bigger questions about the ethics of what has become a widespread practice by many in the anti-abortion movement, not just on websites but also in the street when who women are entering/leaving an abortion clinic are accosted by anti-abortion hecklers and also when they visit what are sometimes called crisis pregnancy centres looking for help to have an abortion.

This week, on 6 October in the UK, the TV Channel 4 programme Dispatches sent women posing as abortion seekers to visit a clinic in order to encounter anti-abortion activists in the street outside the clinic, filmed the exchanges and later interviewed one of them. An article in the Mail on Sunday, in anticipation of the TV programme, reports that an anti-abortion crisis pregnancy centre tells women that abortion increases the risk of breast cancer. Others claim that abortion causes depression and failure to bond with future children, all false claims based on false evidence.

In the USA, a study by NARAL Pro-Choice America found that there were more crisis pregnancy centres than abortion clinics in the country in 2013.

A report published in 2014 by Education for Choice in the UK on this subject is based on extensive research on this behaviour.

SOURCES: Liberation + Photo Stéphane de Sakutin, AFP, 29 September 2016 + Le Figaro, 27 September 2016

+ Channel 4 Dispatches, Under Cover: Britain’s Abortion Extremists, 6 October 2016 + Mail on Sunday, by Nick Craven, 1 October 2016 + Huffington Post, 19 March 2015

Source: International Campaign for Women's Right to Safe Abortion