Earlier this month, Irish media were caught in an embarrassing show of pro-abortion bias when major news outlets reported on a social media poll as meaningful scientific finding. The poll in question was conducted by the Irish Medical Times, and made the claim that 75 percent of Irish medical professionals support legalizing abortion up to 12 weeks. The Times has since removed the poll from its website.
Ireland is one of the most pro-life countries in the world, and the only European nation to acknowledge the right to life of the preborn. The Eighth Amendment of the Constitution Act protects the life of the preborn in addition to the life of the mother. A record of low maternal mortality has shown what the pro-life Irish know: abortion is never necessary to save the life of the mother. Former abortionist Dr. Anthony Levatino explains:
Pressure from international abortion activists has jeopardized the Eighth Amendment. Irish citizens will vote in a referendum in May or June of this year, and pro-life campaigners are canvassing the country to defend the Eighth Amendment and the right to life of the preborn. Irish media have displayed a bias toward pro-life activists, but perhaps never so blatantly as accepting the recent “poll” without apparently checking the source or authenticity of the data. The unscientific and informal survey, which required no proof that participants were actually medical professionals, gathered 338 responses from Twitter and Facebook to reach the 75 percent conclusion.
Major news outlets in Ireland, including the Irish Times, the Journal, and the Irish Examiner, carried the poll as front-page news with the Examiner calling the poll “the most substantial examination of doctors’ 12-week abortion views to date.” The poll’s flaws and unscientific basis quickly surfaced. The Irish group Save the 8th explained in a press release, “Of the 388 responses to the poll some 338 came from social media posts, primarily Facebook, rather than anything that required a respondent to prove they were a medical professional.”
People took to Twitter calling on news outlets to take down the misleading articles.
How is this nonsense “poll” still on your website? And how can you justify a twitter survey, open to anybody, being on your front page & claiming it’s indicative of doctors’ views? You’re allowing blind bias justify publication of fabricated stories. You are debasing journalism
— Lucinda Creighton (@LCreighton) February 8, 2018
I wouldn’t normally do this, but it’s important enough: If you have a moment, drop a note (using RESPECTFUL language) to [email protected] and ask them when they will be issuing a correction of their fake front page news story this morning. #savethe8th #repealthe8th
— John McGuirk (@john_mcguirk) February 8, 2018
The Journal’s editor, Susan Daly, responded to the backlash, writing, “Thanks for alerting us to this. We misunderstood the methodology and have removed the article and all social concerning it.” The Irish Examiner, however, has refused to take down the story, which still appears on its website. Instead of appropriately amending the flawed reporting, the Examiner instead claimed that the original story “fairly and accurately reported of a survey” and that the Irish Medical Times provided “assurances about the survey methodology and accuracy of the results.” Without taking any responsibility for journalistic integrity, the Irish Examiner continues to carry a misleading headline and inaccurate story showing brazen pro-abortion bias.
Niamh Uí Bhriain of Save the 8th said about the debacle, “The Irish people deserve the facts in this debate, and this morning, the Irish media has failed them utterly. These facts were ascertainable with two or three clicks of a mouse, but no due diligence was done.”
Legitimate polls of Irish opinion show voters increasingly moving in favor of pro-life protections for the preborn. Commenting on the polls, Dr. Ruth Cullen of the Pro-Life Campaign explained part of the reason for the shift:
As more and more people come to realise what repeal of the Eighth Amendment would lead to in practice, I’m confident the polls will continue to move in the same direction. No matter how it’s packaged or presented, repeal of the Eighth Amendment would strip unborn babies of all meaningful protections and lead to abortion on demand similar to countries like England where 1 in 5 pregnancies now end in abortion.
Pro-life advocates estimate that if the abortion rate rises to 1 in 5, an additional 10,000 babies will die in abortion. Whether abortion occurs at 10 weeks or 38 weeks, the violent procedure ends the life of a unique human being. Dr. Anthony Levatino explains the most common surgical abortion method used to abort a child at 12 weeks.
The upcoming referendum in Ireland is a historic vote to preserve or destroy one of the world’s most pro-life countries. A vote to repeal the Eighth Amendment would be a vote to kill the most vulnerable in Ireland.