BBC to repeat distortion of pro-lifers as terrorists

The BBC will tonight give a repeat screening to a drama which depicts pro-life campaigners as murderous terrorists.

Clips from the drama

WARNING: Viewers may find some scenes disturbing.

The first episode of the controversial two-part drama will be aired on the BBC’s High Definition channel this evening at 9pm.

When the drama was originally broadcast last month on BBC One campaigners were outraged by the significant number of details linking the terrorists with real pro-life groups.

The drama features an investigation into a child kidnapping by a group of pro-life campaigners who kill one of their hostages by lethal injection when their ransom demands are refused.

The drama has been lauded for its realism, with writer Mike Ford reportedly aiming to make it “as accurate as possible”.

BBC controller Kate Harward said: “In Hunter, Mick Ford has created a rare thing – a suspenseful thriller which is driven by human characters and the day to day detail of the real world”.

Real pro-life campaigner, Josephine Quintavalle (left), and the actress playing a pro-life killer in the BBC drama.

Real pro-life campaigner, Josephine Quintavalle (left), and the actress playing a pro-life killer in the BBC drama.

The actress playing one of the pro-life kidnappers bears a striking resemblance to real pro-life campaigner, Josephine Quintavalle, who battled with the BBC in 1997 over the broadcaster’s decision to censor a party political broadcast by the Pro-Life Alliance.

In Hunter, the kidnappers demand that their campaign film is shown by the BBC.

In the drama one of the clues leading the police to the group is a membership list of a committee of pro-lifers organising events to mark the 40th anniversary of the Abortion Act 1967. Such events were organised in 2007 by the Pro-life Alliance and others.

Mrs Quintavalle said: “Everyone should be outraged at such a manipulative representation of abortion politics.”

Pat Buckley of the European Life Network said: “I wonder if the BBC would care to explain why telling such hate-ridden lies about pro-life campaigners does not constitute a hate crime?

“Besides the insult and injustice of such a portrayal, promoting the false suggestion to millions of viewers that pro-lifers are violent and dangerous leaves pro-life campaigners at increased risk of violent attack themselves.

“Stigmatising and inciting hatred against any group leaves them vulnerable to attack by people who are genuinely led to believe that they are a threat to society.”

The ProLife Alliance said: “The BBC has a moral duty to present a fair and balanced view of groups campaigning peacefully for the human rights of unborn children. However, this series demonstrates how biased the BBC can be, by blatantly portraying pro-life campaigners as kidnappers and murderers.

“This is crude and vicious propaganda: a ‘blood libel’ aimed at those who, in the real world, are trying to protect both children and their parents.

“By permitting this bizarre and slanderous drama to be televised, the BBC risks tarnishing the image of a peaceful and democratic movement. Would we expect to see a similar storyline about pro-abortionists kidnapping and threatening to murder children to advance their cause?

“The BBC risks abusing its neutral position to promote the liberal status quo.”

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