Mícothrom agus claonta i ngaeilge agus i mbéarla araon.
It's no secret that RTÉ the tax-funded State broadcaster is openly hostile to the pro-life position. The station doesn’t even bother anymore to create the pretence of balance when covering life issues. The latest manifestation of this was on Scannal, broadcast on RTÉ 1 last Monday, 22nd February at 7.30pm. You can watch it on the RTÉ player if you care to.
Even the description of the programme on the RTÉ website lets the cat out of the bag. It states: “Scannal looks back at a story that gripped the nation and raised the issue of abortion once again, an issue subsequent Governments have failed to fully deal with through legislation”
The so-called failure to deal with the issue through legislation might have something to do with the fact that the majority of Irish people are opposed to abortion and that the controversial X case decision by the Supreme Court in 1992 failed to set any time limits for abortion and if legislated for would have to allow abortion up to birth.
Were the producers of Scannal remotely interested in balance they could have invited reasoned pro-life voices to make these and other points in defence of the right to life.
RTÉ insists on turning a blind eye to the compelling arguments against abortion. Whilst we heard about the difficult circumstances surrounding the X case and the injunction sought by the Attorney General at the time - and nobody belittles the emotional difficulties that faced Miss X and her family - we heard nothing on Scannal about the fact that the X case judges heard no medical evidence to justify the Supreme Court decision.
Similarly, we heard nothing about the health of women in the wider context of the abortion issue. For example in recent years, several studies have been published, and in particular a study from Finland in 2005, showing that women are more likely to commit suicide after having an abortion than whilst pregnant. One horrifying case that illustrates this is that of Emma Beck, a 31 year old English artist who committed suicide in 2007 after aborting her twins. Emma's suicide note read: "I told everyone I didn't want to do it, even at the hospital. I was frightened, now it is too late. I died when my babies died. I want to be with my babies: they need me, no-one else does."
In fact the link between abortion and negative mental health consequences has become so clear that the British Royal College of Psychiatrists recommended that abortion counselling leaflets be updated to include information about the latest studies showing the negative effects of abortion on women. Separately, research published in the British Journal of Psychiatry in 2008, concluded that induced abortion is linked to an increased risk of mental illness in later life.
Importantly, the fact that Irish women receive all necessary medical treatments during pregnancy here - even if it unintentionally results in the loss of the unborn - was not highlighted on Scannal. Nor was the fact that despite having no abortion in this country, Ireland is rated number one in the world in protecting women’s lives during pregnancy, according to the latest UN/WHO report on maternal mortality. Ireland, for example, is a much safer country in which to be pregnant than say Britain or Holland, where unrestricted abortion regimes exist.
But RTÉ didn't see fit to take on board any of that. Why? Because it wouldn't have helped the agenda that RTÉ constantly pushes in favour of abortion.
RTÉ never reports on the brutality of what abortion regimes entail in other countries, like for example the fact that abortion is legal up to birth in Britain. Do we want to follow England's abortion regime - one of the most liberal in the world - where babies are aborted simply because they have 'disabilities' like hare lips and cleft palates? RTÉ seems to think we should considering the open way it promotes abortion without limits.
RTÉ has never once presented a programme that set out to challenge abortion advocates who believe that unborn children are deserving of absolutely no protection throughout the entire nine months of pregnancy. Surely there is something very suspect here?
On every occasion without exception RTÉ builds it coverage of the issue around challenging the pro-life side to justify its position. This is a genuine scandal that the programme Scannal, if it was doing its job would investigate!
The way RTÉ treats the pro-life issue is becoming a major story in itself. If the station continues along the path of openly promoting abortion, pro-life activists will have no choice but to devote all their energies into making the public aware of the culture of ideological bias in RTÉ in favour of abortion.
You can view the Public Service Broadcasting Charter which contains a statement of principles that clarifies what is expected of RTÉ as the national public service broadcaster, including accountability to its audience here