French MPs ban websites that provide intentionally misleading information on abortion
17 Feb 2017
PARIS, 16 February 2017 –The French National Assembly passed a bill banning websites that carry false information with the aim of dissuading women from having abortions.
The approved bill was an extension of an existing law from 1993, which was designed to stop individuals from intimidating or threatening women who are seeking abortions, or even physically "blocking access to abortion clinics." Violation of the original law is punishable by up to two years in prison and a fine of €30,000. The same is now true for internet-based violations. On the occasion of the vote, France's minister for women's rights, Laurence Rossignol, explained that the law targets organisations that are "behind websites imitating the state websites" and carrying information that appears to be of an official nature, while recalling that anti-choice activists can freely express their views as long as they "sincerely say who they are, what they do and what they want."