08.07.2015: Amnesty’s close links to Women on Web “completely undermines credibility of its abortion report,” says PLC

08.07.2015: Amnesty’s close links to Women on Web “completely undermines credibility of its abortion report,” says PLC

08.07.2015: Amnesty’s close links to Women on Web “completely undermines credibility of its abortion report,” says PLC

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Sherlock takes issue with Amnesty poll findings

The Pro Life Campaign today revealed that Amnesty International’s recent report on Ireland’s abortion laws was compiled with the assistance of the international abortion lobby group, Women on Web. The PLC said this completely undermines the impartiality of Amnesty’s  “My Body: My Rights” report and raises very serious questions about Amnesty’s professional judgement in partnering with an organisation that facilitates what it described as “the reckless and irresponsible importation of abortion drugs into Ireland, leading to situations where women end up self-administering the drugs without any medical supervision.”

Commenting on Amnesty’s links to the group Women on Web, Deputy Chairperson of the Pro Life Campaign Cora Sherlock said:

“Amnesty International had a long standing and highly respected reputation for being scrupulously impartial when conducting research in the area of human rights. That well deserved reputation has been greatly undermined by Amnesty’s decision to adopt such a one-sided position on the abortion issue.

“It’s now abundantly clear that Amnesty’s recent report on Ireland’s abortion laws was selective and skewed in pushing a pro-choice agenda. There wasn’t even the slightest attempt made to ensure balance. In compiling the report, Amnesty failed to consult with women who regret their abortions or those who came under intense pressure from State funded agencies to abort their children with life-limiting conditions.

“The revelation, however, that Amnesty collaborated with the group Women on Web in compiling its report completely undermines the credibility of what was produced. It also raises extremely serious questions about Amnesty’s professional judgement for partnering with an organisation that facilitates the reckless and irresponsible importation of abortion drugs into countries like Ireland, leading to situations where women end up self-administering the drugs without proper medical supervision.

“Amnesty is now a fully-fledged campaigning group on one side of the abortion issue. It is no longer the unprejudiced and even-handed organisation that won the public’s trust and respect.

Commenting on the RED C  poll on abortion released by Amnesty today, Ms Sherlock said:  “Colm O Gorman’s claim that there has been a ‘major transformation’ in attitudes to abortion does not stand up to closer scrutiny. Almost identical results to today’s Red C poll findings were published as far back as 1997 but when the public had an opportunity to vote on the issue in 2002 the outcome of the referendum was entirely different and a clear pro-life majority was evident.

“I am confident that as the current debate develops it will become much clearer that the Eighth Amendment, which provides the last remaining legal protection for the unborn, remains a force for good and is responsible for saving many lives and for creating an ethos of care that respects and protects both mother and baby in pregnancy.”

Ms Sherlock continued:

“I have to take issue with the way in which Amnesty Ireland constantly refers to a 14 year jail sentence linked to the criminalisation of abortion. Amnesty Ireland knows perfectly well that women are not prosecuted for having abortions. If anyone is likely to be prosecuted it would be the practising abortionist who breaks the law. Amnesty is purposely trying to create an impression that Irish women run the risk of going to jail if they opt for an abortion but they very conveniently fail to point out that similar sanctions exist in other European countries but, just like in Ireland, women are never prosecuted.”

ENDS