CBS Eager for ‘Seismic Cultural Shift’ in Ireland as Abortion Vote Begins

On Friday, CBS This Morning co-host Norah O’Donnell introduced a report on voters in Ireland heading to the polls to decide whether or not to repeal the nation’s pro-life amendment banning abortions except when the mother’s life is at risk, touting: “A historic referendum in Ireland today could relax that country’s strict anti-abortion laws.”

Reporting live from Dublin, correspondent Jonathan Vigliotti noted that it was expected to be “an incredibly tight vote” and hyped: “Ultimately those I have spoken with say us this is a referendum on the future direction of the nation.” Though the outcome was still unknown, the reporter confidently proclaimed that change already come: “For a country so closely entwined with the Catholic Church, months of polarizing protests have signaled a seismic cultural shift.”

 

 

After explaining that Ireland’s pro-life law was enacted in the 1980s as a response to the 1973 Roe v. Wade decision in the United States, Vigliotti described how the nation “has been considered a pro-life beacon.” To his credit, he then spoke to Sinead McBreen, the mother of a daughter with Downs Syndrome, who was voting against the measure to legalize abortion. “It wasn’t my right to terminate – to decide when to terminate her life,” McBreen declared.

Vigliotti then predictably turned to an activist in favor of the referendum, “But pro-choice campaigners like Ivana Bacik say the current law ultimately hurts women.” Bacik fretted: “It has caused this immense trauma, it has blocked any reform to abortion law.  And, of course, it hasn’t stopped Irish women having abortions.”

After hearing from both sides of the debate, the correspondent decided to bolster the pro-abortion position and parrot attacks on the Catholic Church:

In 2016, over 3,000 women from Ireland traveled to the UK to have abortions. That’s almost nine a day. And it’s estimated that 1,500 illegal abortion pills are ordered online each year.

The Catholic Church in Ireland has encouraged its followers to vote no to abortion, but critics here say it’s moral authority has weakened after a series of child abuse scandals.

Wrapping up the slanted segment, Vigliotti highlighted Ireland’s gradual move to the left: “And this is a nation that has been leaning more liberal in the past few decades. In 1995 they legalized divorce, in 2015 they legalized gay marriage.” He concluded: “If abortion is legalized, women will be allowed to terminate within the first 12 weeks of pregnancy.”

Not content with just pushing liberalism in America, on Friday, CBS took its bias international.

Here is a full transcript of the May 25 report:

7:16 AM ET

NORAH O’DONNELL: A historic referendum in Ireland today could relax that country’s strict anti-abortion laws. Jonathan is in Dublin, where Irish citizens from all over the world have arrived to volt. Jonathan Vigliotti, good morning.

JONATHAN VIGLIOTTI: Good morning. And we’ve been watching people filing in all morning long to cast their votes. This is expected to be an incredibly tight vote. We’ll learn the results tomorrow morning. Ultimately those I have spoken with say us this is a referendum on the future direction of the nation.

[ON-SCREEN HEADLINE: Ireland’s Abortion Vote; Irish Voters Make Int’l Trip Home to Vote on Referendum]

For a country so closely entwined with the Catholic Church, months of polarizing protests have signaled a seismic cultural shift. Voters today will select yes or no to repeal Ireland’s Eighth Amendment, which bans all abortions except when the mother’s life is at risk. The law was created in 1983, supported by those who feared Ireland having its own Roe v. Wade moment. Since the 1973 ruling legalized abortion in America, Ireland has been considered a pro-life beacon.

It’s a torch Sinead McBreen wants to carry for unborn children with disabilities.

SINEAD MCBREEN: Grace was born pink and screaming.

VIGLIOTTI: Her three-year-old daughter Grace has Downs Syndrome.

MCBREEN: It wasn’t my right to terminate – to decide when to terminate her life.

VIGLIOTTI: But pro-choice campaigners like Ivana Bacik say the current law ultimately hurts women.

IVANA BACIK: It has caused this immense trauma, it has blocked any reform to abortion law.  And, of course, it hasn’t stopped Irish women having abortions.

VIGLIOTTI: In 2016, over 3,000 women from Ireland traveled to the UK to have abortions. That’s almost nine a day. And it’s estimated that 1,500 illegal abortion pills are ordered online each year.

The Catholic Church in Ireland has encouraged its followers to vote no to abortion, but critics here say it’s moral authority has weakened after a series of child abuse scandals.

And this is a nation that has been leaning more liberal in the past few decades. In 1995 they legalized divorce, in 2015 they legalized gay marriage. If abortion is legalized, women will be allowed to terminate within the first 12 weeks of pregnancy. Gayle?

GAYLE KING: Jonathan Vigliotti reporting from Dublin, thank you.


Please support NewsBusters today! (a 501c3 non-profit production of the Media Research Center)

DONATE
CyberAlerts Campaigns & Elections Europe Abortion CBS CBS This Morning Video Norah O'Donnell