Europe's highest court receives case over French-censored Down syndrome ad

Last edited 13th July 2017

This ad, named "Dear Future Mom,” was aired across France in March 2014. It addresses a pregnant woman whose child was diagnosed with Downs syndrome. Here to comfort her are these young adults thriving with the chromosome disorder in spite of their differences.

The commercial was an instant success at its release, and retweeted by leaders such as Italy's former prime minister, Matteo Renzi.

However, this statement shows that only months later, the French government banned it from all airwaves.

ROBERT CLARKEDirector, European Advocacy for ADF International "Ultimately it's a form of censorship; it's the government deciding that there is a message that cannot be shared, that it is too dangerous to be shared, and banning it from the airways. In this case it's a positive message about the lives that people with Down syndrome can have.”

Three years later, it has reached Europe's highest court. ADF International, a human rights organization, will be intervening in the case.

ROBERT CLARKEDirector, European Advocacy for ADF International "Those behind the advert are taking the case to the European Court of Human Rights because they were unsuccessful in challenging this ban in France. The European Court of Human Rights will examine whether or not that ban, that censorship, was in line with the European convention of human rights.”

ADF will take part in the case because they believe if the regulations are upheld, there will be negative repercussions on society.

ROBERT CLARKEDirector, European Advocacy for ADF International "There is one consequence when that happens: there is a chilling effect. People are left wondering whether or not they are allowed to say this thing or that, and so they simply don't express it. And that's a very, very dangerous place for society to go.”

In France, it is reported that 96 percent of pregnancies detected with Down syndrome end in abortion. It is now up to the European Court of Human Rights to give a voice to those who do not yet have one.


https://youtu.be/9SseRjXqUbg


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