Pro-life group accuses paper of abortion bias

The head of a national pro-life charity has accused The Times of a “flagrant” pro-abortion bias in its coverage of the issue.

John Smeaton, the Director of the Society for the Protection of the Unborn Child (SPUC), made his comments on the SPUC blog.

“Yesterday [18 August], a full-page, public-opinion-forming, spread of reportage and commentary, headlined ‘Abortion does not harm mental health, says study’ presented an American Psychological Association review as significant, authoritative research into the effects of abortion,” he wrote.

“The fact that this study has been shown, on the basis of good evidence, to be fundamentally flawed, is completely ignored.”

In an earlier post, Mr Smeaton pointed out that the APA’s report had been undermined by some of its own members who had highlighted flaws in its methodology and conclusions.

He also claimed that the paper had appeared to offer tacit support for attempts to liberalise the law on abortion as part of the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Bill.

In June, a number of liberalising amendments were tabled by Liberal Democrat MP Evan Harris. Subsequently, Mr Smeaton said, The Times published “no less than six stories on abortion, all of them clearly presenting a pro-abortion position with little or no comment from anyone who disagreed.”

Mr Smeaton wrote: “The Times was once regarded as the UK’s newspaper of record, a serious publication with high standards of journalism… but those standards, in recent years, have slipped.

“As a daily reader I could give many examples, but the newspaper’s blatant bias on life issues is one of the most flagrant.”

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