LoveBoth campaign releases statement on Tuesday's Prime Time debate
The debate has become the cause of much consternation.
Controversy was sparked before last night's Prime Time debate even began when it emerged that Cora Sherlock, a spokesperson for the No campaign, would not be participating as planned.
This meant that the involvement of obstetrician Mary Higgins, who would have been advocating for a Yes vote, was also reduced — rather than participating in the debate, she contributed from the audience.
RTÉ has since released a statement expressing "disappointment" that Sherlock was "unavailable to take part."
In the early hours of Wednesday morning, the LoveBoth campaign, also released a statement: "We felt RTÉ’s decision to invite a pro-repeal obstetrician on the panel and no medic from the pro-life side was utterly unacceptable. No serious effort was made by RTÉ to achieve balance on the panel. Given the seriousness of the referendum vote on Friday, we believed that they had to be called out on their slanted line-up."
“The public is entitled to a fair presentation of the issues before the referendum. RTÉ chose not to deliver that in their original panel line-up."
“Health Minister Simon Harris has said provision of unrestricted abortion in the first 12 weeks of pregnancy would be a GP led service. Hundreds of GPs have publicly criticised his proposal yet RTÉ throughout this entire debate has never held a single panel discussion featuring GPs from opposing sides. There is no excuse for this whatsoever."
While RTÉ has not held a panel discussion featuring GPs from both sides, last week's Claire Byrne Live debate featured an audience discussion involving several GPs advocating for Yes and No votes, respectively.