Irish Times abortion story “raises major credibility issues” for the paper, says PLC
3rd September 2013
The Pro Life Campaign has said the recent apology from The Irish Times over its false and misleading story on abortion is “inadequate” and “raises major credibility issues” for the newspaper.
On 23rd August, The Irish Times ran a front page story claiming that the first abortion under the new legislation had taken place. The paper claimed the abortion of twins saved the mother’s life and was carried out at the National Maternity Hospital in Holles Street. Last Saturday, however, in an embarrassing admission, The Irish Times issued an apology on page seven of its news section pointing out that “the case described in the article did not happen.”
Commenting on the saga, Caroline Simons of the Pro Life Campaign said: “The revelation that the front-page story, which was picked up by the international media, never happened, is extraordinary.”
“It raises many serious questions, given that representatives of the National Maternity Hospital commented on the case. An apology for this extraordinary report seems inadequate and the public deserves a fuller explanation of how it came about”, she said.
Dr Ruth Cullen of the Pro Life Campaign said: “This latest episode raises major credibility issues for The Irish Times. It also rushed to judgement following the tragic death of Savita Halappanavar by concluding that Ireland’s abortion laws were to blame. Despite the findings at the coroner’s inquest, The Irish Times has refused to change its tune. There are countless other recent examples of biased reporting on abortion by the same newspaper. This would not be a problem if it were not for the fact that some of our weaker minded politicians have taken their direction on the issue from newspapers like The Irish Times, instead of robustly challenging the obvious agenda that is being pushed.
Dr Cullen said: “The headline and content of the recent inaccurate report in The Irish Times was clearly intended to create the impression that the new abortion law was needed to save women’s lives. Not surprisingly, that’s how the international media interpreted the report. For The Irish Times to print its apology on page seven of the paper only adds insult to injury.”
Read a report of this story in Journal.ie here