IVG, the battle for online information



On ethical issues, the battle for influence is also being played out online. The proof with the launch by Family Planning, on September 28, of a new website to inform about abortion, with the assumed desire to “counter anti-abortion or anti-choice sites”according to Bénédicte Paoli, member of the national office. “If you type “abortion” in a search engine, you quickly find, and well ranked at the top of the list, sites which, under the pretext of informing, mainly want to dissuade women from resorting to abortion. », she details. In the viewfinder, in particular, the ivg.net site.

“The sites that Planning wants to counter are not necessarily false, admits Lisa Carayon, lecturer in health law at the University of Paris Nord. To say that one runs risks by undergoing an abortion is not false, in itself. But the anti-choice will voluntarily put forward the most disturbing information (the possible psychological effects, the risks – however minimal – of infertility…), to discourage people who consult their pages. »

Obstructing information on abortion, a crime

In an attempt to make sites with a presentation deemed misleading less visible, a digital obstruction offense was even adopted under the presidency of François Hollande. He punishes “two years’ imprisonment and a fine of €30,000 for preventing or attempting to prevent the practice or (to prevent or attempt to prevent) to find out about a voluntary termination of pregnancy (…) by any means, including electronically or online. » But it remains little applied.

Gold, ” Iaccess to information on the subject of abortion is a real challenge, continues the jurist Lisa Carayon. Especially when it is sought by isolated people, with little connection, who have not had access to a trusted source (school nurse, gynecologist, etc.). » In these cases, the Internet can be the first gateway.

“We are not for abortion at all costs”

” The problem official sites on the subject, such as that of the governmentor this site is that the information is one-sided and unbalanced, deplores Caroline Roux, general manager of the pro-life movement Alliance Vita, which offers a help line on unplanned pregnancies. They don’t present not the possible solutions if one wishes to continue the pregnancy, does not informnt not on the aid available, whereas studies by the public authorities show that it is the less well-off women who have more recourse to abortion. »

Here, ” This will not be the case “according to Bénédicte Paoli. “We are not for abortion at all costs, she assures. The listeners of our toll-free number are trained and if they notice that there is hesitation on the other end of the line, they will direct and advise the callers. »

“Right to ambivalence” against “infantilization”

On the first version of the site that The cross was able to consult, the question “I doubt, who can I contact to help me make a choice? » indeed appears under the heading “Examples of questions on abortion and pregnancy”. Before forwarding to a national toll-free number.

Nevertheless, “an abortion site that only provides information on abortion fulfills its mission, says Lisa Carayon. Let’s stop infantilizing women: a woman who seeks information on abortion is generally already decided to have an abortion”.

Not so simple, for Caroline Roux. We find that many women need to take a step back. Women have a right to ambivalence. There may be family pressures, especially males, money problems that come into play in their questions. Why deprive a woman of the plurality of information? » According to figures made public on September 27 by DREES, the Department of Research, Studies, Evaluation and Statistics, 223,300 abortions were recorded in 2021 compared to 233,000 in 2019.

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