RTÉ ignores IFPA scandal

RTÉ has never challenged the pro-choice Irish Family Planning Association about the advice its counsellors gave to women to lie to their GPs if they found they were suffering medical complications following an abortion, advice which was recorded and published in the Irish Independent on 27th October 2012. How can RTÉ blank a story this big and expect the trust of the Irish people?

The counsellors advised women to tell their doctors they had had a miscarriage rather than an abortion, advice which Dr Sam Coulter Smith, the then Master of the Rotunda, characterised as life-threatening. The revelations in the Irish Independent also disclosed that the IFPA was advising women on how to illegally import an abortion drug to self-administer without medical supervision.

RTÉ’s refusal to cover the story cannot have been because the story came to light as a result of an undercover investigation. The situation at Leas Cross Nursing Home in Swords was brought to light in a similar manner, and the public interest importance of the issue was held by RTÉ to justify covering the story. The same applied with the recent RTÉ undercover investigation into standards at crèches around the country.

Until the Irish Independent story broke, the IFPA was the most high profile abortion advocacy group in Ireland. However, it has maintained a public silence ever since in terms of radio and TV debates. Surely RTÉ must find it a little odd that the IFPA has scrupulously avoided doing any media interviews in the past year when the abortion issue has never been more high profile?

Ignoring a story as gravely serious as this shows that RTÉ has no interest in fair and impartial reporting. We cannot continue to gloss over this fact and pretend it isn’t true. Right now, RTÉ are taking us for fools as they continue without even a hint of embarrassment to promote one side of the issue – the pro-choice side.