Irish Times says it won’t use ‘pro-life’ label but keeps using ‘pro-choice’
Pro-life advocates in Ireland have had enough of the Irish Times carrying water for the abortion movement. The newspaper, they said, have crossed a line in a recent editorial in which the paper said it would no longer use the term “pro-life” to describe those fighting the country’s legalization of abortion.
The editorial read, “While this paper, for example, does not allow the use by our reporters in the context of reporting the abortion debate of the loaded term ‘pro-life’ as a news description, the expression may be quoted from others or used by opinion writers.”
“Its reporting on abortion has always skewed in favour of abortion; anything that portrays abortion in a negative light is largely ignored, and it devotes considerable time and energy to making false or empty charges against pro-life groups.”
The editorial, titled “The Right to be Wrong,” said the “blurring of opponents’ ideologies to associate their ideas with extremism is a feature of many debates. The shorthand terms ‘racist,’ ‘xenophobic,’ ‘homophobic,’ ‘sexist,’ ‘anti-life,’ ‘fascist’ and ‘communist’ are bandied around all too easily in a way that dilutes their currency, often to the point of meaninglessness.”
“Such imprecise and inaccurate labeling and ad hominem reasoning is, it has to be said, often deeply counterproductive to an argument to hear the claim that Obama is a communist may delight supporters of Fox News but will do little for its credibility in Middle America, no matter how often repeated.”
But Uí Bhriain pointed out that the paper regularly uses the expression “pro-choice” to describe those who campaign for legalized abortion. Therefore their attempt to take a moral high ground, she said, is a brazenly hypocritical stance that encapsulates the blindness of the media in general to its own biases.
Uí Bhriain said the term “pro-choice” “is clearly a euphemism imagined by slick marketers of the abortion lobby to conceal the real horror of abortion.”
A more objectively accurate term, she said, would simply be “pro-abortion” since that is the “choice” that they campaign to legalize. “But they know it’s a term that most people don’t want to associate with abortion, so the Irish Times are collaborating in a universal deceit which deliberately masks the reality of abortion.”
The Times called itself a “platform for debate” that is not in the business of telling the speakers how to make the case. But Uí Bhriain responded that the editorial is just the latest in a string of attacks on the pro-life position of the majority of Irish people that have “utterly discredited” the Times in its abortion reporting.
“First they falsely told the world that our ban on abortion caused the tragic death of Savita Halappanavar. Then they misled everyone again by reporting on Ireland’s ‘first abortion’ which they then had to admit never happened.”
More recently, the Irish Times reported that pro-life groups were telling school children that rape victims do not become pregnant, then later had to publicly admit that no pro-life group had made the claim.
Uí Bhriain said, “They have lost all credibility in reporting on abortion, and their sales continue to fall.”