Networks of Dissuasion: Mapping Online Attacks on Reproductive Rights in France

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The reversal of Roe v. Wade by the US Supreme Court in June 2022 had a profound impact on the United States, marking a regression in women’s access to abortion and reproductive rights in the country. Recent years have been marked by similar restrictions in abortion rights around the world, with Poland introducing a near-total ban on abortion in October 2021 and Hungary putting forward a law forcing women to listen to the heartbeat of their foetus before receiving an abortion.

Despite France having a longstanding history of anti-abortion activism since the enactment of Loi Veil, which legalised abortion in the country in 1974, the US Supreme Court ruling appears to have emboldened anti-abortion groups in France. This is evident in the rise of attacks on prominent organisations advocating for reproductive rights, such as Planning Familial. Additionally, there have been high-profile stunt campaigns by anti-abortion groups, including a coordinated sticker campaign on rental bikes in Paris. While recent months have shown multiple examples of offline anti-abortion mobilisation, a deeper understanding of the online activities of anti-abortion networks and the spread, amplification and monetisation of anti-abortion views, abortion misinformation and harmful content related to reproductive rights is lacking.

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