Stop The Irish Times Promotion of Abortion



Misleading Claims in the Irish Times

On August 23rd 2013, just a few weeks following the passing of the Irish abortion legislation, an article appeared on the front page of The Irish Times which blazed the headline, “First abortion carried out under new abortion legislation”. The sub-heading read “Case similar to that of Savita Halappanavar” and then went on to describe a case of a woman who was pregnant with twins at 18 weeks and who had developed signs of infection, as did Savita.

However, Irish Times writer Paul Cullen alleged, in contrast to Savita’s case, this woman had undergone a termination of pregnancy at the National Maternity Hospital under the new abortion legislation and her life had been saved. It was suggested that had this legislation been in place at the time of Savita’s death then perhaps her life too would have been saved. The article named Drs Peter Boylan and Rhona O'Mahony, both known abortion campaigners, and said that they had both sanctioned the termination. So far, it seemed like the usual Irish Times abortion advocacy, however, this time their penchant for putting advocacy before journalism would come back to haunt them.


But DOH releases memo to say abortion legislation not enacted yet

On the very same day the article had been printed, the Department of Health released a memo saying that the new abortion legislation had in fact not yet been enacted. So the doctors involved in this story were practicing under the very same laws and guidelines that they had relied on for years, including in October 2012 when Savita Halappanvar was in University Hospital Galway with a septic miscarriage.

No action was taken was taken are the doctors who has supposedly intervened to save the mother's life as pro-abortion advocates had claimed would happen if the abortion law was not changed. In fact, Dr Simon Mills barrister-at-law and former GP said that the procedure was “perfectly legal” irrespective of whether or not the new law had come into place. What the Irish Times tried to re-imagine as an abortion story was, in fact, the most solid proof, if it were ever needed, that Fine Gael's abortion legislation was never needed to save women’s lives. Doctors were always able to intervene in order to save the life of the mother.

The day after the article was printed Dr Peter Boylan went on RTÉ Radio to express his disgust that there had been a confidentiality breach and that the woman involved in this case could potentially be identified. Dr Boylan suggest there was no such case nor did he say anything about the legislation he had supported so vociferously previously. He also made no reference to the fact that Irish Times writer Paul Cullen, who had written the story, specifically mentioned that he, Dr Boylan, had sanctioned the pregnancy to be terminated.


You probably missed the "article" correcting the "mistake"

Ten days later the Irish Times printed a small correction on one of the inside pages saying that “the case described in the article did not happen” and that the article was printed “in good faith”.

The National Maternity Hospital later revealed that in the period from July 30th to August 23rd when the article was printed, two women who had been carrying twins had miscarriages and were treated at the hospital. Neither case bore any resemblance to the case described in The Irish Times leaving the hospital to conclude that no such case even existed. The hospital found that, in all relevant cases under review, the term 'termination of pregnancy' had never been used.

The story seems almost farcical. First we learn that the supposed abortion had not taken place under the new legislation. Then we learned that no such event had ever taken place. The one thing that certain was that the Irish Times was neck deep in something spurious and it was all self-inflicted due to their mindless fixation on promoting abortion.

The media bias in this case is clear, as is the Irish Times' total lack of journalistic integrity when it comes to the life issue. The Irish Times are hell bent on venerating abortion, even if it means carrying a front-page headline that is at worst a complete lie or at best a mistake caused by a blind promotion of abortion.