The media in Ireland are pulling out all the stops to push for overturning the 8th Amendment providing legal protection for women and unborn children and replacing it with a measure legalizing abortion. That includes running news stories touting a fake poll.
The Irish Examiner’s front page today claims that 75% of Irish doctors back the government’s plan for abortion on demand up to 12 weeks. It turns out that this is based on a totally unscientific “poll” conducted on Twitter. The Irish Times and the Journal.ie removed reports on this from their websites after they realised how misleading they were. The Irish Examiner needs to explain why it is willing to mislead its readers in this way, leading pro-life groups say.
The Pro-Life Campaign has branded an Irish Examiner report as ‘fake news’ and called on the newspaper to retract the front-page story of this morning which claimed that ‘75% of doctors support 12-week access’ to abortion. The sub-heading read: ‘Poll of 400 medics shows support for liberalising abortion regime’.
Within hours of publishing the results of the unscientific social media ‘poll’, conducted by the Irish Medical Times, the story attracted a huge backlash on social media. The Journal.ie and the Irish Times have withdrawn the story from their websites.
The Pro-Life Campaign said the Irish Examiner’s coverage of the poll “misled the public by giving it such prominence”.
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Commenting on the newspaper report, PLC spokesperson Dr Ruth Cullen said: “For the Irish Examiner to claim the findings were ‘the most substantial survey of medics on the issue to date’ creates an entirely false impression. Anybody, not just medics, were able to vote in this poll. The only criteria for voting was a Facebook or Twitter account. The flippant use of such faulty methodology doesn’t auger well for the forthcoming referendum campaign.”