BAI upholds Ray D’Arcy show complaint regarding interview on abortion laws

Ray D’Arcy had a complaint against him upheld for acting in a partisan manner when conducting a radio interview on abortion laws.

The Broadcasting Authority of Ireland (BAI) found that listeners “would have reasonably concluded that the presenter endorsed the views of his interviewee and was articulating a partisan position”.

The interview with Colm O’Gorman, director of Amnesty Ireland, took place last June. It followed the publication of Amnesty International’s report, She is not a criminal: The impact of lreland’s abortion law.

The RTÉ presenter told Mr O’Gorman he had read the report and it had made him “very angry”.

“The thing that came up over and over again was that we’ve been told by numerous human rights organisations that our abortion laws are contravening basic human rights and, yet, government after government after government have done nothing,” he said.

Mr D’Arcy referred to some high-profile cases, including one involving a brain-dead woman whose doctors wanted to keep her alive because she was pregnant.

“Her dad had to go to the High Court. And all of this happens at a time when people are very vulnerable… traumatic situations… They have to fight the law of the land, which is horrific,” Mr D’Arcy said on the radio show.

The BAI found that The Ray D’Arcy Show had breached the requirements of broadcasting legislation “for fairness, objectivity, and impartiality in news and current affairs”.

Sinéad Slattery of the Pro Life Campaign said that she hoped the BAI decision would “set down a marker for the way in which the abortion issue is dealt with by all sections of the Irish media”.

“It does a grave disservice to listeners when the state-funded broadcaster pushes one agenda,” she said.

A spokesperson for RTÉ said they “respected the decision of the BAI”, adding “it is noted”.

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