“Necessary in a Democratic Society”: European Court Bars Pro-Life Advocate From Calling Abortion Murder

imagesWe have previously discussed the alarming rollback on free speech rights in the West, particularly in France (here and here and here and here and here and here and here) and England ( here and here and here and here and here and here and here and here and here and here). Much of this trend is tied to the expansion of hate speech and non-discrimination laws.   The Europeans appear committed to this trend of curtailing free speech and subjecting speech to coercive definitions of what the majority deems acceptable.  That commitment was made all the more evident, and chilling, by the decision of the European Court of Human Rights rejecting a German anti-abortion activist’s challenge to court orders enjoining him from referring to abortions as “aggravated murder” and comparing them with the Holocaust.  So now the courts are enforcing speech controls over clearly religious and political viewpoints in Europe.

The court in Strasbourg, France simply brushed aside the freedom of speech elements of a man who views abortion as murder and doctors performing abortions as murderers.  It upheld the prior restraint on any future speech for Klaus Guenter Annen,  in barring his views from being posted on his website or spoken in other forums.  The reason is all too familiar to the free speech community. He cannot be allowed to speak freely because it “might have incited hatred and aggression.”

Indeed, in a truly Orwellian twist,  it claimed that the denial of free speech in this case is “necessary in a democratic society”.

65 thoughts on ““Necessary in a Democratic Society”: European Court Bars Pro-Life Advocate From Calling Abortion Murder”

  1. How does one spell “Heil Hitler” in German language. Is it: Heil or Hiel?
    Germans need to know. I need to know so that I can write my blog comments.

  2. Ivan — One grouping of the so-called left form the Progressives and the Communitarians. Some of the latter, at least, are not liberals and so do not espouse freedom of speech. But that is rare. The primitive form of both is found in the Book of Matthew about succor for the afflicted. Most of both the Progressives and the Communitarians agree that the government has a role in attempting to assure that the residents of the governed area have adequate housing, good food and general education, also medical and dental care. That is more than what is stated in the Book of Matthew, but it is almost 2000 years later.

    Progressives and Communitarians need to discuss, frequently, what-to-do-next. For that, at least, freedom of speech is central. But as we try to include everyone in and nobody out, hate speech is anathema.

    1. hate speech, that is a rightward deviationist error and sabotage of the EU bureaucratic dictatorship, which must be combatted with ruthlessness by the EU apparat

  3. Ivan — The Wikipedia article on Hate Speech specifically states that such speech is protected in the USA by the first amendment.

    But in Pullman for example, those engaging in hate speech are thoroughly and continually reminded that such is a violation of community standards; we don’t do or allow that around here. It works.

    1. David Benson is the King of Making Stuff Up and owes me twelve citations (one from the OED) and the source of a quotation, after seventeen weeks, and needs to cite all his work from now on. – the challenge is WHO decides what is or is not hate speech. Your hate speech is my Mozart. Pullman uses a bullying model to get people to fall into line, however who decides what the line is and where it drawn? Are there clearly defined limits that people must follow in Pullman? Or are they sent to Coventry? And where is Coventry in relationship to Pullman (Seattle)?

  4. Ivan — The Wikipedia article on Left-Wing Politics appears to say nothing about free speech. Historically most forms of leftist politics have certainly espoused it.

    Stalinism and the recent Xi-ism certainly opposed and continue to oppose free speech. But neither is leftist, being rather systems of privilege for the few. The Kavanaughs of those countries and times, if you will.

    1. David Benson is the King of Making Stuff Up and owes me twelve citations (one from the OED) and the source of a quotation, after seventeen weeks, and needs to cite all his work from now on. – Stalin talked the talk but he did not walk the walk. Modern leftists are the same. Basically they are new-age fascists.

  5. Free Speech recognized in
    Congressional Bloodshed: The Run-Up to the Civil War
    David S Reynolds
    TNYT 2018 Sep 30
    being a review of
    The Field of Blood: Violence in Congress and the Road to Civil War
    Joanne B. Freedman

      1. Anyone who believes “hate speech” is a thing is against “free speech.”

        Do you believe “hate speech” has any place in our legal system?

      2. David Benson is the King of Making Stuff Up and owes me twelve citations (one from the OED) and the source of a quotation, after seventeen weeks, and needs to cite all his work from now on. – could we get a cite for that please.

        1. Thanks. I know he’s dumb, but I still want a reply. If he doesn’t I will start to insult him whenever he posts from now on.

          1. Replys to replys to …
            grow ever narrower to the point of unreadablity on this device. Expect answers to be fully separate comments on the same thread.

            Begin by reading the book review in TNYT cited above.

            1. David Benson is the King of Making Stuff Up and owes me twelve citations (one from the OED) and the source of a quotation, after seventeen weeks, and needs to cite all his work from now on. – for god’s sake get a bigger screen. Get a tablet or something. Your problem is not our problem.

  6. So now the Liberal courts are imposing more free speech restrictions.

    Sounds a lot like the trends in our own country. Liberals fighting against personal freedom like free speech, and against the rule of law.

  7. TURLEY CALLS RULING “CHILLING” AND “ORWELLIAN”

    BUT IF DOCTORS ARE PERFORMING A LEGAL PROCEDURE..

    CALLING THEM “MURDERERS” IS “CHILLING” AND “ORWELLIAN”

    Professor Turley employs a double-standard here. He argues that religious activists should have ‘free speech’ rights permitting them to label doctors as ‘murderers’. When, in fact, these doctors are working within the guidelines of legal medicine. Said doctors are ‘not’ murderers by any legal standard in Western Europe. Therefore using the term ‘murderer’ is false and malicious. Yet Turley argues that false and malicious statements should be legal.

    The idea seems to be that if one’s religion views a legal practice as murder, then one should have the right to publicly claim that people engaged in these practices are committing heinous crimes. For comparison sake, we should step away from the abortion debate and relate this issue to other legal but arguably immoral practices. Let us consider the distribution and retailing of cigarettes.

    Cigarettes are that rare legal product whose regular use can be deadly to consumers. Therefore one could argue that manufacturers of cigarettes are essentially merchants of death which makes them ‘murderers’. By this logic, anti-tobacco activists could mount public information campaigns labeling as ‘murderers’ the executives of cigarette manufacturers.

    One could apply this logic to distillers of liquor; they too are merchants of death since the consumption of liquor frequently leads to violent accidents or eventual death from liver disease. One could expand this argument to say that every bartender is ‘an accessory to murder’.

    One could also relate this argument to non-deadly practices that may offend certain religious activists. A Muslim fundamentalist might feel that women who go bare-headed in public are essentially ‘prostitutes’. Should these activists have the right to mount social media campaigns labeling as ‘prostitutes’ any Christian woman?

    Free speech and freedom of religion are ‘not’ valid arguments for publicly labeling people as
    criminals if their practices are legal and widely accepted in their respective societies.

    1. Here in the US, people have a right to free speech.

      A fetus was alive before an abortion, and it was killed because of an abortion. The fetus was genetically human, or male or female. It was recognizably human on visual inspection. After a relatively short gestational period, a fetus looks like a small baby nestled within the womb.

      Death of the fetus is a biological fact. Causation by abortion is a biological fact. “Murder” is a subjective, cultural determination. People have the right to express their opinion. There was a period of time in which a slave owner could kill a slave with impunity. It was considered the destruction of his own “property.” Abolitionists considered that murder. It was legal to do so at the time, but their personal opinion was that it was murder. I concur with the abolitionists.

      Laws become changed when people disagree with them, and they vote. You cannot discuss why a law should be changed if you are barred from using the language to dispute it, or to express your position.

      No one has the right not to be offended. Is anyone worried about the offense taken by the pro-life people?

      Abortion is limited in the US because at some point of gestation, the majority considered killing the fetus to be murder. For example, Gosnell killing full term babies in the birth canal, when their body was out but their heads still inside, by severing their spinal cord with sharp scissors, was murder. The disagreement is where to draw the line. The overwhelming majority of “pro choice” people actually do believe there is a gestational limit. I saw Joy Behar on video saying that late term abortion was “murder”, her word. If there was a state that allowed on demand abortion up until birth, I imagine Behar might still hold on to her opinion.

      1. Here is another example. When rape was considered a misdemeanor, there would have been agitation to label it a more severe crime.

        One must be allowed to say that rape was a more serious crime in order to get the law changed to consider it a more serious crime.

      2. Karen, let’s say I strongly feel that McDonald’s food is essentially fecal waste. Should free speech allow me to mount a ‘public information’ campaign to inform the public that McDonald’s is selling fecal waste as food?

        1. Peter Hill – you may be on to something with McDonald’s. There is a McDonald’s burger that has been around for some 20+ years and has not even started growing fur. It probably has a longer half life than U-235. I only have breakfast there. 😉

  8. The European appear committed to this trend of curtailing free speech and subjecting speech to coercive definitions of what the majority deems acceptable.

    What are you talking about? This has nothing to do with enforcing the prejudices of Joe Blow off the sidewalks of Stuttgart. This is about enforcing the prejudices of people like you: lawyers, academics, journalists, &c. You cannot bear that reality.

  9. Human Rights Court? What an Orwellian joke. Can’t wait for the EU to fall. Maybe then the Europeans can throw out their Petains and de-Muslimize.

  10. This is exactly why I ignore people who whine that America is the only developed country where …..(fill in the blanks)..
    I am actually thankful for many of the ways we are not Europe. The danger here is that we follow them.

  11. One man, one vote democracy (i.e. communism) does not hold dominion in the American restricted-vote republic, the manifest tenor of the U.S. Constitution does.

    The entire redistributionist, socially engineered, American welfare state is unconstitutional.

    Americans and the natural and God-given people of the world enjoy every conceivable natural and God-given right and freedom per the 9th Amendment.

    “…courts…must be to declare all acts contrary to the manifest tenor of the Constitution void.”

    Europe is a sovereign state which may enslave its people, like Cuba, China and North Korea or free its people like the Constitution mandates.
    ____________________________________________________________________

    “[A] limited Constitution … can be preserved in practice no other way than through the medium of courts of justice, whose duty it must be to declare all acts contrary to the manifest tenor of the Constitution void. Without this, all the reservations of particular rights or privileges would amount to nothing … To deny this would be to affirm … that men acting by virtue of powers may do not only what their powers do not authorize, but what they forbid.”

    – Alexander Hamilton

    1. And here we have Joseph Jones sullying the pro-life cause with his particular brand of poisonous stupidity.

  12. I was in Germany during the time of the 1972 Olympics in Munich. I have been to Germany several times since.

    Passions ran too hot there in the previous century and it seems that persists, along with the Fascism in eastern Germany, etc.

    Jonathan Turley, people who live in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones. When sexism and racism and so on are eliminated in the USA and when you actually comprehend the difficulties in France, Germany, etc., then comment. As it is you appear to be an absolutist about so-called free speech.

    Something about crying “Fire!” in a crowded theater, hmm? Was that Justice Hugo Black or was it Justice Wm Douglas?

    1. You have a knack for picking the wrong side of every argument, and being a snotty twerp about it to boot.

    2. So the Germans must have their speech controlled because they are too fiery? They need educated elites to guide them on what they are permitted to say? Their temperament requires dictatorial control?

      What an interesting defense of tyranny. I have NOT heard that before. Over and over again in one dictatorship after another.

            1. You are correct. Writing to a person such as yourself does imply I am lowering my standards. I’ll avoid doing so next time.

            2. David Benson is the King of Making Stuff Up and owes me twelve citations (one from the OED) and the source of a quotation, after seventeen weeks, and needs to cite all his work from now on. – Darren was right on target. Hit you where it hurts. 🙂 That one is going to sting.

          1. Darren Smith – unless David Benson backs up his statements with citations, I vote he be banned for life. 😉

        1. David Benson is the King of Making Stuff Up and owes me eleven citations (one from the OED) and the source of a quotation, after seventeen weeks, and needs to cite all his work from now on. – the history of Germany is so convoluted from 1830 to the present that your statement makes no sense, which is not surprising.

  13. Oh, I’ll bet Barack and all of his bolshevik billionaire buddies are high-fiving and fist-bumping their little fannies off.

      1. JayS, Ok, here’s the bleeding obvious meaning of my comment: Obama and his friends are HAPPY and ELATED about the
        decision ………..In that vein.

        1. David Benson is the King of Making Stuff Up and owes me eleven citations (one from the OED) and the source of a quotation, after seventeen weeks, and needs to cite all his work from now on. – not the Classical Liberalism of the Founding Fathers, the abortive version currently in vogue.

        2. Liberals are those on the outside willing to do anything legal or not to gain power.

          Conservatives are those on the inside willing to do anything legal or not to stay entrenched and in power.

          Extremists are those who want both at the same time no matter who they have to sacrifice..

          That is all the use those words have.

          You had iyour hundred plus years. You failed. But what is truly laughable is your quoting Our Founding Fathers or worse Their Declaration Of Independence or ultimately Our Constitution…..after pissing on them.

          The jokes on you.

          1. Michael Aarethun, the Founding Fathers were liberals. That is what the word signifies.

            Faux Neuz is misleading you.

            1. Benson,
              As long as you’re going to just make stuff up, go big and claim you are one of the founding fathers. That would be far more believable.

          2. Michael;
            Pay no mind to DBB. What he knows about political science or history can be neatly fit into a Cracker Jack box. Paul has shown again and again that DBB just makes it up as he goes,

        3. Paul is right. Classical Liberalism is essentially the polar opposite of Liberalism.

          Classical liberalism is a political ideology that values the freedom of individuals — including the freedom of religion, speech, press, assembly, and markets — as well as limited government. It developed in 18th-century Europe and drew on the economic writings of Adam Smith and the growing notion of social progress. Liberalism was also influenced by the writings of Thomas Hobbes, who argued that governments exist to protect individuals from each other. In 19th- and 20th-century America, the values of classical liberalism became dominant in both major political parties. The term is sometimes used broadly to refer to all forms of liberalism prior to the 20th century. Conservatives and libertarians often invoke classical liberalism to mean a fundamental belief in minimal government.

          https://www.chegg.com/homework-help/definitions/classical-liberalism-53

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