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PLC question credibility of Amnesty abortion report

By Sarah Mac Donald - 09 July, 2015

Amnesty International’s close links to the pro choice Women on Web organisation raises "very serious questions about Amnesty’s professional judgement".

Rally for Life bannerThe Pro Life Campaign has hit out at Amnesty International’s close links to the pro choice Women on Web organisation saying it “completely undermines” the “credibility” of its latest abortion report.

In a statement on Wednesday, the PLC highlighted that Amnesty’s new report, ‘My Body: My Rights’ on Ireland’s abortion laws was compiled with the assistance of this international abortion lobby group.

The Pro Life Campaign also claims that the association between Amnesty and Women on Web raises very serious questions about Amnesty’s professional judgement in partnering with an organisation that facilitates what it described as “the reckless and irresponsible importation of abortion drugs into Ireland”.

This importation, PLC warned, can lead to situations where women end up self-administering the drugs without any medical supervision.

“Amnesty International had a long standing and highly respected reputation for being scrupulously impartial when conducting research in the area of human rights.”

“That well-deserved reputation has been greatly undermined by Amnesty’s decision to adopt such a one-sided position on the abortion issue,” Deputy Chairperson of the Pro Life Campaign, Cora Sherlock said.

“It’s now abundantly clear that Amnesty’s recent report on Ireland’s abortion laws was selective and skewed in pushing a pro-choice agenda. There wasn’t even the slightest attempt made to ensure balance.

In compiling the report, Amnesty failed to consult with women who regret their abortions or those who came under intense pressure from State funded agencies to abort their children with life-limiting conditions.

“The revelation, however, that Amnesty collaborated with the group Women on Web in compiling its report completely undermines the credibility of what was produced.

She said it also raises serious questions about Amnesty’s professional judgement for partnering with an organisation that facilitates “the reckless and irresponsible importation of abortion drugs into countries like Ireland, leading to situations where women end up self-administering the drugs without proper medical supervision”.

“Amnesty is now a fully-fledged campaigning group on one side of the abortion issue. It is no longer the unprejudiced and even-handed organisation that won the public’s trust and respect.”

Commenting on the RED C poll on abortion released by Amnesty on Wednesday, Cora Sherlock responded, “Colm O’Gorman’s claim that there has been a ‘major transformation’ in attitudes to abortion does not stand up to closer scrutiny.”

“Almost identical results to today’s Red C poll findings were published as far back as 1997 but when the public had an opportunity to vote on the issue in 2002 the outcome of the referendum was entirely different and a clear pro-life majority was evident.”

She added, “I am confident that as the current debate develops it will become much clearer that the Eighth Amendment, which provides the last remaining legal protection for the unborn, remains a force for good and is responsible for saving many lives and for creating an ethos of care that respects and protects both mother and baby in pregnancy.”

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