Thursday 16 August 2018

Taoiseach criticises use of heavily edited clip in anti-repeal group's video

The clip of Taoiseach Leo Varadkar used in a social media campaign video for the Save The 8th campaign
The clip of Taoiseach Leo Varadkar used in a social media campaign video for the Save The 8th campaign
Wayne O'Connor

Wayne O'Connor

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar criticised an anti-repeal campaign group who used an edited video of him talking about abortion.

Save The 8th is using a short clip of Mr Varadkar as part of a social media campaign. In the edited video, he says terminations can pose risks for women.

Referring to abortion legislation in 'liberal' countries like the UK, Mr Varadkar is heard saying: "Not only did they end the life of the unborn but they also put women at risk because women can die as a result of terminations and can be injured."

However, the soundbite is taken from a longer recording of a video when he states there are negative consequences to abortion laws that are either too restrictive or too liberal.

Mr Varadkar has criticised the use of the edited clip.

A spokesperson said: "It's does not make the point the Taoiseach was actually making.

"In the interests of fair campaigning and transparency any future use of such material should be accurate, fair, used in full and not be used in a misleading manner like this one."

The pro-repeal group defended its use of the shortened clip.

A spokesperson said it wanted to question if "abortion is safe or not".

"We do not dispute it is part of a longer interview, but the Taoiseach is a medical doctor, and when he says the law he is promoting may be dangerous for women, we believe it is absolutely fair enough to highlight those comments to the public."

A spokesperson for Together For Yes repeal group did not respond to requests for comment.

Last night, the Taoiseach told Facebook live forum a 'No' vote in the abortion referendum will endanger the lives of women.

"We'll have hundreds, if not thousands of people buying abortion pills over the internet without medical supervision."

He said there is "a real risk of someone dying" by taking such pills on their own.

Irish Independent

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