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Life Institute says Irish Times caught out in spin on abortion pills

The Life Institute has said that the Irish Times and other Irish media have been either "caught spinning" or are "guilty of lazy, sloppy journalism" in their coverage of custom seizures of abortion-inducing pills.

The Irish Times claimed this week that the Irish Medicines Board had confirmed the seizure of 1,216 packages of abortion drugs were seized by Irish authorities last year and that this was "evidence that growing numbers of pregnant women are taking illegal drugs to induce abortions in Ireland." The article then quoted the tiny pro-abortion group Choice Ireland, as saying "the figures indicated at least three women a day were ordering drugs over the internet to terminate pregnancies."

So the media spin on the story was that at least 1,216 women had ordered abortion pills from abroad in order to induce abortion.

Investigations by the Life Institute reveal quite a different story. Spokeswoman for the Institute, Niamh Uí Bhriain, explains:

"We wrote to the Irish Medicines Board (IMB) asking for further information as we realised that it was most likely that the abortion tablets had in fact come into the country in large batches, meaning that they were intended, not for 1,216 separate women, but for a small number of individuals and for several unscrupulous 'distributors' who most likely intend to sell them onto vulnerable women who are looking for help and instead are given a dangerous pill which will kill their baby.

"Today, the IMB confirmed to us that the 'medicinal products consisting of Misoprostol (1118 tablets) and Mifepristone (98 tablets) total of 1,216 tablets were not intended for 1,216 separate persons' and that customs had, in fact, detained 62 separate consignments consisting of Misoprostol, or Misoprostol and Mifepristone.

Ms Uí Bhriain said it was "quite incredible that the Irish Times had allowed abortion campaigners to put a false spin on the facts, particularly when those facts were readily available." She added that the media in general had either contributed to this spin or had been guilty of "sloppy, lazy journalism" in regard to their reporting of the custom seizures.

"We're following up with further questions to the IMB and we're also writing to newspaper editors pointing out the facts of this case," she concluded.

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