Panorama's abortion report was lost in the balance | Sarah Ditum

In striving for impartiality, The Great Abortion Divide presented two opposing viewpoints but no idea of how to weigh them

One of the follies of bad journalism is "neutrality": the idea that the truth occupies an unspecified position between two fixed points. In last night's Panorama on The Great Abortion Divide, it was implied that the truth of good abortion law is located somewhere in the Irish Sea, between the severe restrictions of Northern Ireland and the relative liberality of Great Britain. If abortion is so difficult to access in one part of the UK, implied Victoria Derbyshire's voiceover, and so easy to access in another, doesn't that mean both regions are doing something wrong?

The programme was extensively researched. It included articulate and nuanced interviews with women who spoke about their own experience of abortion. There was a mother who had a termination rather than give up
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