When words such as “genocide” and “baby” are part of an article’s title, they are bound to attract the readers’ attention. Both the title and most of the content of the text are designed in such a way that they leave no room for doubt about the view of the author and the editorial staff regarding the amendments to the Law on abortion, which were a hot topic for the domestic public this summer.
The year mentioned in the title (1977) is the year when the Law on abortion was passed, whose provisions were subject to changes with the request for urgent amendments by the Government of the Republic of Macedonia. However, the connection of a serious term such as “genocide” with the exercise of a woman’s legal right for family planning indicates an identical ideological matrix behind this text and other texts that problematize the right to abortion.
According to the definition of genocide, given for the first time at the UN Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide of 1948, it is defined as “an international crime of intentional complete or partial destruction of the national, ethnic, racial and religious groups. It belongs to the worst group of crimes against humanity” (Source: Wikipedia). But soon after, the text argues that this is in fact self-genocide, defined in literature as the destruction of a nation by itself or its government. The crown argument for autogenocide, according to KURIR , is not the official figure of 550,000 aborted fetuses during the last 35 years, but the other half a million illegal abortions that are not part of any records, and that were carried out during the same period, and paradoxically, even after abortion became legal! Moreover, the source from which this number of illegal abortions was obtained is neither cited, nor did the author try to explain why would there be such a big number of illegal abortions if the abortion itself was legally available to women!
The source for the statistical data used in the text is “Johnston’s archive” and according to this data, the number of abortions in Macedonia has had a downward trend for years, but, unnamed sources of KURIR claim that the number of 5,900 abortions per year is not accurate because of the alleged abuses of private surgeries, i.e. that it is five times greater and amounts to 30,000 abortions annually. Coincidentally or not, the same figure is repeated in the cited data from the portal “Abortus NE” propagating the prohibition of abortion.
Link to original article: Геноцид во Македонија: Абортирани 1 милион бебиња од 1977 до денес
Date and time of publication: 29.08.2013, 14:39
Review date: 4.09.2013
Reviewer: Jugoslava Dukovska
Accuracy of facts: The text uses data from Johnston’s archive available online, but the allegations for some kind of illegal, unrecorded numbers of abortions in Macedonia are completely unverifiable and speculative.
Extensiveness: The article meets the minimum level of extensiveness, because it provides the arguments of both parties, who represent opposing views of the problem, provides statistics (although selectively used), provides the statements of four women who have had an abortion (though all stories have the same leitmotif – regret for what they have done, or satisfaction for not doing it). The thesis from the title is supported by the figures for abortions carried out in 1987 and 1989, which are higher figures, but the author fails to mention the significant downward trend in the absolute figures of abortions carried out year after year. The UN data has not been used as well, according to which, when compared to other countries, Macedonia is somewhere in the middle of the scale according to the number of abortions per 1,000 women from 15 to 44 years old.
Bias: the partial display of the truth is evident through the manipulation of the data from “Johnston’s archive”, their selective use as arguments for the theses about alleged genocide, and the omission of the figures that suggest a different picture about the truth. This indicates and unbalanced and biased approach in favor of the conservative anti-abortion campaign which is informally, but persistently conducted by the pro-government media, some of the NGOs and MPC.
Originality/Plagiarism: The text is actually a complete copy of a text published almost three months ago in the weekly REPUBLIKA.
Quality of the title: The title “Genocide in Macedonia: 1 million babies aborted since 1977” is actually the most problematic segment of the whole article, because it uses sensationalism in an attempt to assert and defend the thesis that abortion is actually premeditated murder!
Photograph: The photograph of the developed fetus in the mother’s womb as an illustration in a text which speaks of genocide against a million babies in Macedonia can be assessed as a manipulation of the readers’ feelings.
Conclusion: The topic of abortion and women’s rights are subject of discussion in our country and in the world, and texts about these issues always have a large readership. Therefore, it is not surprising when a media will decide to represent one of the two opposing views – for or against abortion, although it is a guaranteed right of women in our country. The actual text which is subject to this review is representing the side that has a critical approach towards abortion. Therefore, it is no surprise that objectivity is not a priority and that the arguments are based on carefully selected elements that will support the thesis that the right to abortion in the Republic of Macedonia had an autogenocide effect.
This review was created within the framework of the USAID Media Strengthening in Macedonia Project - Media Fact-Checking Service Component,, mplemented by Metamorphosis. The review is made possible by the generous support of the American people through the United States Agency for International Development (USAID). The contents are the responsibility of its author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Metamorphosis, USAID or the United States Government. For more information on the work of USAID in Macedonia please visit its website (http://macedonia.usaid.gov) and Facebook page (www.facebook.com/USAIDMacedonia).
the accuracy of allegations cannot be determined
trustworthiness of allegations cannot be determined
SOURCES OF INFORMATION
sources are presented
information may have been concealed
partially presenting the truth
spinning the truth
has false information
integrated with the facts
has a photograph
author (source) is not attributed
no offensive speech
no hate speech
doesn't encourage violence
EDITED FOR THE WEB
has no contextual links
not connected with tags