RTÉ downplayed Psychiatrists statement on abortion

When 113 psychiatrists signed a statement saying that the Government’s proposed legislation on abortion in 2013 was flawed and that abortion is never a treatment for suicidal feelings, it received almost no coverage on RTÉ News. Contrast this with the repeated headline coverage on the news afforded to a handful of psychiatrists who supported the abortion legislation. Why the incredible double standards?

The headline story on RTÉ News the day the psychiatrists issued their statement was about the Taoiseach saying that there would not be a referendum on abortion. Why was the Taoiseach’s statement given priority over the statement from 113 psychiatrists? No group on either side of the debate had called for or sought a referendum so the Taoiseach’s comments had no relevance to the debate taking place at the time. Still, RTÉ chose to run with the Taoiseach’s remarks as headline news and barely covered the statement from the 113 psychiatrists.

Yet when a handful of psychiatrists and obstetricians who supported the legislation intervened in the debate, they invariably received headline coverage on RTÉ. Why did these individuals receive headline coverage over other doctors? Could it have something to do with the fact that these medics were backing the Government’s plan to introduce abortion?

*The statement from the psychiatrists was issued on 26th April 2013.