May 30, 2017

Heckler's veto in France

In First Amendment law, a heckler's veto is the suppression of speech by the government, because of [the possibility of] a violent reaction by hecklers. It is the government that vetoes the speech, because of the reaction of the heckler. Under the First Amendment, this kind of heckler's veto is unconstitutional.  But not in France where 93% of Down Syndrome children were aborted.

French Censors Target Children With Down Syndrome

A public-service TV ad—‘Dear Future Mom’—is rejected because it could trigger guilty feelings.

The 2014 ad, “Dear Future Mom,” addresses a pregnant woman who has just discovered her baby has Down syndrome. “Dear future mom,” says one child. “Don’t be afraid,” says another. “Your child will be able to do many things.” “He’ll be able to hug you.” “He’ll be able to run toward you.” And so on.
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In France three TV networks agreed to carry it as a public service. The feedback was glowing—until that summer, when the government’s High Audiovisual Council, or CSA, issued a pair of regulatory bulletins interdicting the ad. The regulator said it was reacting to audience complaints.

It wasn’t until after the foundation retained legal counsel, in December 2014, that the nature of the audience complaints became clear. There were only two.

You can watch the viral Pro-Life video Dear Future Mom produced for World Down Syndrome Day on YouTube.  Here's another video by a young girl with Down Syndrome who says it's 'not scary' and garnered more than 8 million views on Facebook.

Posted by Jill Fallon at May 30, 2017 11:06 PM | Permalink