26.01.2015: Hospital review confirms Irish Times story “did not exist”

26.01.2015: Hospital review confirms Irish Times story “did not exist”

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A review of cases at the National Maternity Hospital in Holles Street, Dublin has confirmed that there was no basis for a front page story in the Irish Times claiming that a woman’s life had been saved after being given an abortion under the Government’s new abortion legislation. The hospital has categorically stated that the case given prominent coverage in the Irish Times on 23rd August 2013 “did not exist.”

Commenting on the clarification from Holles Street hospital, Pro Life Campaign Deputy Chairperson, Cora Sherlock said:

“In addition to misleading its readers with a baseless story, it is important to look at the way the Irish Times packaged the report on its front page. The headline ‘first abortion carried out under new legislation’ gave a very clear impression that the new legislation had saved a woman’s life.  It also strongly implied that had the legislation been introduced earlier the tragic case of Savita Halappanavar would not have happened.

“The Irish Times completely misrepresented the Savita story from day one. Three official reports have shown this to be the case. Now we have confirmation that their ‘life- saving’ abortion story did not exist.  Obviously this latest development is very embarrassing for the Irish Times. But the main issue here has to be the way the Irish public have been repeatedly given false and misleading information on the abortion issue by some members of the media. The Irish Times has led the way in carefully selecting stories to push for more abortion while burying stories that show abortion in a poor light. That’s the undeniable reality of what has happened in the past few years. Many politicians and others in public life know this to be the case but they are too terrified to say it for fear of offending the media or falling out of favour with certain journalists. It’s a very unfortunate situation because we need those in positions of influence to have a bit more back bone and to speak out openly and plainly about the appalling state of journalism in Ireland at present.”