The Supreme Court has just ended the judicial process initiated by the ultra-Catholic Christian Lawyers association against the Asturian activist and director of a clinic where abortions are performed, Blanca Cañedo. In a ruling issued on November 25, the Civil Chamber of the High Court has dismissed the organization’s appeal against the decision of the Valladolid Court that absolved the woman of a crime of illegitimate interference in the right to honor of the association for the expressions he uttered in an interview in La Voz de Asturias.
The director of a gynecological clinic, sued by Christian Lawyers: “We are still persecuted for practicing abortions”
In it, Cañedo assures that “we still have to fight against Christian Lawyers” who “receive a very good subsidy for each case they open” and “are dedicated to little less than rummaging through the garbage to find any minimum pretext that allows them to open A case”. In addition, he said in general that “sex education will always be a problem for dark minds and a danger for the intransigent.”
Following the claim filed by the association, the Court No. 14 of First Instance of Valladolid convicted in March 2019 to the also member of the Association of Accredited Clinics for the Voluntary Interruption of Pregnancy (ACAI) to the symbolic payment of one euro for considering that such manifestations are not true and, therefore, are not protected by freedom of expression. A few months later, the Provincial Court reversed the ruling and acquitted Cañedo by recognizing that the phrases “are not vexatious or undermine the dignity of the person, limiting themselves to reflecting opinions expressed in a context of strong ideological positioning, which are protected For freedom of expression”.
Now the Supreme Court has supported the case along the same lines and has dismissed the appeal filed by Abogados Cristianos because “in a confrontational context and in the framework of an extensive interview, the defendant’s statements are not strong enough to consider that they constitute interference in the honor of a legal person and the freedom of expression of the defendant must prevail “. The High Court considers that the entire interview is based on “the evaluative element, the expression of ideas, thoughts and opinions” and that, therefore, “it is not enough to consider that there has been a violation of his honor, especially when it comes to the honor of a legal person, since there is no criticism that professionally or personally disqualifies the applicant and her associates ”.
Regarding the phrases “dark minds” and “intransigent”, the sentence known this Wednesday explains that they do not refer directly to Christian Lawyers, but in general “to those who consider sexual education a problem.” But, in addition, if they are specifically directed against the association, the court continues, “it will be necessary to agree that such qualifications would refer to their ideas, and freedom of expression allows criticizing the contrary ideas with which they disagree, without negative qualifications that they are made of them entail an attack on the honor of the people who support them when they occur in a context of confrontation ”.
ACAI, which is the target on many occasions of the legal battles that Christian Lawyers usually undertake, has celebrated the ruling: “In the face of the today regrettable and numerous currents that promote the limitation of the exercise of fundamental rights and public freedoms, this sentence gives protection to whom the only thing he did was implement a constitutionally recognized right, which is freedom of expression, declaring the Supreme Court that the limits to the exercise of such freedom, in accordance with the jurisprudence of the European Court of Human Rights, must be interpreted in restrictive way, “has assured José Antonio Bosch, legal advisor of the association and lawyer for Cañedo. The Supreme Court forces ultra-Catholics to pay the costs of the process.