The Journal.ie and the Irish Times – two of Ireland’s largest media organizations – have been forced to pull what appears to be a fabricated story about a poll that
claimed 75 percent of Irish doctors support repealing Ireland’s pro-life Eighth Amendment and allowing abortions unrestricted up to 12 weeks gestation.
The Irish Examiner also led with the story Thursday that “75% of doctors support 12-week access to abortion,” based on a poll of 388 respondents. The results, the story continued, emp
hasized “a strong medical support for a more liberal abortion regime.”
Pro-life campaign Savethe8th, however, observed that the survey was based on 388 respondents to a Twitter/Facebook poll that non-doctors who use social media could respond to as well.
“There was and is no way to verify who took part in the poll, and it was not in any way scientific,” said Savethe8th in a press release.
Niamh Uí Bhriain of Save the 8th told Breitbart News the Irish media have been caught in their failure to fact-check information coming from the pro-abortion campaign.
“One paper, the Irish Examiner, still hasn’t even take the story down, and are still misinforming people,” Uí Bhriain said, adding:
The whole episode shows how fake news is being used to push for abortion in this referendum, but the public can now see that for themselves, which is a very significant development. We’re canvassing door-to-door in the biggest canvass effort this country has seen in any issue for decades and people constantly raise the issue of media bias with us, and no wonder.
The Irish Examiner report says:
A poll of almost 400 doctors compiled as Health Minister Simon Harris confirmed doctors can conscientiously object to performing abortions if the referendum is passed has made the conclusion, underlining a strong medical support for a more liberal abortion regime.
The survey, to be published in tomorrow’s edition of Ireland’s longest-running medical trade newspaper the Irish Medical Times, asked all readers of the GP and consultant-focussed publication if they support or oppose the potential 12-week law due to be introduced if the Eighth Amendment is removed.
Out of 388 respondents, a total of 285, or 73%, said they are in favour of the divisive new rule, while 96, or 25%, said they are opposed, with just seven survey takers, or 2%, saying they have no view on the matter. While the poll did not include responses from all 2,500 GPs and a similar number of consultants in Ireland, it is the most substantial examination of doctors’ 12-week abortion views to date.
In an update after the validity of the poll was questioned, the Examiner wrote that it does not remove stories from its website, but referred its readers to the Irish Medical Times regarding “assurances about the survey methodology and accuracy of the results.”