The Abortion Rights Campaign is disappointed with the formal ‘Warning Notice’ issued to RTE against The Ray D’Arcy Show’s coverage of abortion. As the national broadcaster, RTE has a responsibility to report on the real lives of the nation. Shutting down stories such as Gerry and Gaye’s silences lived experiences, stifles the discussion on abortion, and exacerbates the stigma and shame already experienced by many who have had to access abortion under the 8th Amendment.
In practice, these rules on balance mean that extreme anti-choice organisations, whose opinion only represent approximately 7% of the population, are given as much air time as pro-choice and pro-repeal organisations whom we know represent anywhere from 50% – 87% of the population. This creates the illusion that abortion is a divisive issue, when we know that the majority of the population support choice.
The BAI noted that the reading of texts and emails representing the other side was not seen to be enough. We have to wonder what will be “enough” balance? Would there need to be a member of an anti-choice group present to tell this couple that the choice they made for their family was the wrong one?
As a recent Amnesty red C poll showed, the media are not a trusted source when it comes to abortion, and this is why. If discussion of abortion continues to be shut down simply because those involved have become activists as a result of their lived experiences, we will see the media continue to lose public trust on this issue.