BBC admits bias in NI abortion coverage

The BBC has upheld a complaint of bias over coverage of abortion in Northern Ireland.

A viewer complained that BBC News failed to provide both sides of the debate when reporting on the House of Commons vote to impose abortion on the Province.

Earlier this year MPs said that the views of “many thousands” of people in Northern Ireland had been ignored.


Andrew Todd complained to the BBC after coverage of the parliamentary vote in July 2019 only showed interviews with people who were pro-abortion.

The BBC claimed they had not been able to source an interview to provide an alternative viewpoint.

However five pro-life charities have since confirmed they were not approached by the broadcaster for comment.

The Corporation’s Executive Complaints Unit ruled that “due impartiality” was not achieved.


Liz Parsons, Director of Advocacy for pro-life group Life Charity, said: “As a public broadcaster in receipt of public funds, the BBC has a duty and obligation to be impartial in its reporting.

“Its coverage of controversial issues such as abortion and assisted suicide must reflect the views of all sides of the debate in a fair and balanced way.”

She added: “We hope this ruling will help guide the behaviour of the BBC in future”.


NI politicians have repeatedly hit out at the repeal of Northern Ireland’s strong protections for women and unborn children by Westminster without Stormont’s consent.

Jim Shannon MP said that the radical changes ‘undermined devolution’.

He said: “Some 20,000 people – rich and poor, Protestant and Catholic, young and old – stood together at Stormont, rising above political opinion, religious divide and any other consideration, to beg this place not to do this awful thing.”

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