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Pro-life organizations say Irish Times poll “completely misleading”

by | Oct 14, 2014


By Dave Andrusko

Uí Bhriain

Uí Bhriain

You don’t to live in Ireland to know that the Irish Times newspaper is a vigorous pro-abortion proponent, dedicated to “liberalizing” the abortion law in Ireland, step by step. All you need do is read their abortion stories and (especially) see how they misrepresent public opinion on abortion.

The headline on the story that ran yesterday was, “Majority of voters want abortion law liberalized.” The lead sentence in Stephen Collins’ story is, “A large majority of voters would like to see another referendum on abortion to liberalise the current law, according to the latest Irish Times/Ipsos MRBI poll.”

However the Irish pro-life organization, Pro-Life Campaign, said the poll is “completely misleading.”

“In the question gauging support for abortion where the unborn baby has a terminal illness, the poll question clearly states that these are situations where the baby ‘will not be born alive,” said Caroline Simons, Legal Consultant to the Pro Life Campaign. “This is a total distortion of the true picture since no doctor can say with certainty that a baby will die in pregnancy or even in the newborn period. Prolonged survival has occurred in all of the cases commonly described as fatal.”

She added,

“Opinion polls should not be adding to public confusion. They should be clarifying issues if anything. We had the same situation during the debate on last year’s abortion law where poll questions were put to people that presumed that abortion was a treatment for suicidal feelings. We know from the evidence that this is not the case.”

The Life Institute echoed the criticism and went further. “There are no medical conditions for which it can be determined with certainty that a foetus will not be born alive,” spokeswoman Uí Bhriain told the Irish Times.

Here’s how the question was presented to 1,200 adults, over 18:

“The issue of abortion has been in the news again recently. Do you want a referendum to be held on whether or not to permit abortion in cases of rape or where the foetus will not be born alive, or do you not want a referendum to be held?”

But “If instead you ask, ‘Do you believe children with a profound disability have a right to life, however short that life may be?’ you’d get a totally different result than the one gotten by The Irish Times,” Ms. Uí Bhriain said.

“If you ask people: ‘Do parents in these situations deserve better care, including new forms of care, such as perinatal hospice care, which helps parents make the most of the time with their children?’, I’m sure you’d get a very positive response to that.”

Cora Sherlock, Deputy Chairperson of the Pro Life Campaign, told RTÉ’s News that

“those calling for the deletion of the remaining Constitutional protection for the unborn are seeking to broaden the grounds for abortion and are ignoring the adverse effects of abortion for both women and their unborn babies.

“’The Government’s abortion legislation in 2013 was presented as restrictive even though it allows abortion up to birth in the case of threatened suicide based on no medical evidence.’

“Ms Sherlock added, ‘similarly, those now calling for any remaining Constitutional protection of the unborn to be removed present their proposals as restrictive. …

“’In practice such a regime would not be restrictive at all as we’ve seen from virtually every country that introduced abortion always under the guise that it would be restrictive.’”

Categories: Abortion