International

Slovenia will allow pro-life ads to be censored in blow to free speech

Slovenia

In a significant blow to free speech, a court in Slovenia has ruled in favor of censoring pro-life advertising, a Christian legal group announced last week.

According to ADF International, a state-owned bus company removed pro-life advertising from its buses in 2018. The ads featured messages like “We love Life, “You are not alone,” “Step out of Silence,” and “I mourn my child.” The bus company removed the ads just a week after signing a contract with the pro-life NGO Zavod ŽIV!M to display the ads.

The Advocate of the Principle of Equality, the national equality body in Slovenia, initially determined that the bus company had discriminated against the NGO by removing the ads before the campaign was over. In response, the bus company sued the Advocate of the Principle of Equality, and the court ultimately ruled in their favor, determining that the bus company had not acted in a discriminatory manner. The court is now asking the Advocate of the Principle of Equality to reconsider their initial decision.

READ: Pro-life student group in Scotland accused of breaching ‘safe space’ with logo of preborn baby

“Every life is valuable,” said Darja Pečnik, the director of Zavod ŽIV!M. “We want to stand by women in crisis, especially those facing unplanned pregnancies or the loss of a child. Our bus ads were meant to show them that they are not alone. We are disappointed that the court agreed with the bus company that removed the ads. Our message, which celebrates life, should be celebrated, and instead we have faced discrimination for it.”

Earlier this year, ADF International released a statement on the case, and noted that state censorship is happening not just in Slovenia, but is an increasing problem across Europe. A similar incident occurred in the United Kingdom in 2018 when ads for a Christian festival were removed from buses. Fortunately, in that case, the court ruled that the removal of the ads was discriminatory.

Censorship is certainly not limited to central Europe. Just recently, Google removed the paid ads from Live Action that pointed women to Heartbeat International’s Abortion Pill Reversal hotline, prompting members of the Senate Pro-Life Caucus to send a letter to Google CEO Sundar Pichai insisting that the Internet giant reverse its decision.

Censorship of online pro-life content has been an issue for quite some time. Last year, social media giant Facebook blocked ads from pro-life organization the Susan B. Anthony List, and a pro-life marketing agency. Live Action has experienced similar issues over the years. Previously, Twitter has blocked Live Action from advertising, Facebook has both hidden and removed Live Action content, YouTube blocked Live Action videos, and Pinterest even placed Live Action on its “porn” list before banning the organization from the platform altogether.

These are just a few examples of pro-life censorship in the United States. It is imperative that pro-lifers continue to push back against the anti-life bias running rampant across the globe.

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