Bishop hits out at BBC’s ‘pro-abortion bias’ over MP
BISHOP of Paisley John Keenan has attacked the BBC for “pro-abortion bias” over a news story published on the corporation’s website.
A BBC report on Monday covered criticism of the appointment of MP Maria Caulfield as the Conservative Party’s vicechair for women.
However, Bishop Keenan said the article contained too many comments from “pro-abortionists” and was an example of “yet more pro-abortion bias from the BBC”.
His views, reported in the Scottish Catholic Observer, included the claim that the corporation “seems to think it is disappointing that any woman politician should have such anxiety for the plight of unborn human beings – and for society – at the horrific proposals pro-abortionists are now seriously peddling.”
He added: “Let me try to provide some balance in the interest of public service. Those pushing for the decriminalisation of abortion are pressing for the right to abort babies up to birth for any reason whatsoever. The present law at least puts some kind of limit on late abortions and, at least in theory, reminds society of the seriousness of taking an innocent human life.”
Reporting on the appointment of Lewes MP Ms Caulfield to the senior party post, the BBC had quoted the British Pregnancy Advisory Service, who criticised the appointment because she has voted against the decriminalisation of abortion.
Meanwhile Sophie Walker, Women’s Equality Party leader, said Ms Caulfield could “never advocate effectively” for women. Bishop Keenan added: “In fact it is Maria Caulfield who represents the views of most UK women.
“Seventy-two per cent of women want abortion to be governed by a legal framework and only one per cent of women supported the abortion limit being raised, according to a recent poll.
“I know a few excellent BBC journalists, but this just lets us all down.”
Ms Caulfield is reported as saying she did oppose decriminalisation of abortion, and supported the reduction of the 24-week limit on terminations in normal circumstances, in the light of medical advances.
She said: “The current law is a safeguard because it protects vulnerable women who
I know a few excellent BBC journalists, but this just lets us all down
might be pressurised by an abusive partner or family member to have an abortion.”
Stephen Evans, chief executive officer at the National Secular Society said Bishop Keenan’s accusation was “way off the mark”.
“The BBC is well known for its overly deferential approach to religion,” he said. “Media reports have simply reflected widespread concern that a politician appointed to advocate for women’s rights appears to make decisions based on her own religious beliefs rather an evidential and objective basis. I suspect the bishop’s real vexation is that Catholic teaching is out of touch with both mainstream opinion and Catholic opinion on abortion.”
No-one from the BBC was available to comment.