By Dave Andrusko
A big “ thank you” to readers who wrote me at firstname.lastname@example.org to talk about “As per usual, Pew Research bungles public opinion on abortion.” In a nutshell, Pew radically minimized the reach of Roe v. Wade (abortion supposedly legal only in the first trimester) as part of a question about whether the public wanted Roe “completely” overturned.
There were other missteps and misrepresentations, but you get the drift. For me, it was remindful of a post we wrote a while back which I would like to revisit now.
It was a poll commissioned by the National Institute for Reproductive Health (NIRH), another pro-abortion front group.
To be clear, this is a free country. Anyone can commission a poll– as National Right to Life has at times. But, honestly, there ought to be some minimal threshold–which NIRH does not come within hailing distance of–if you expect to be taken seriously.
You can read Tara Culp-Ressler’s “New Polling Reveals Voters’ Opposition To Abortion Restrictions” here. This saves me from spending even more time on it.
“There is a misguided assumption that the public is divided on abortion, and that abortion restrictions have the tacit approval of the voters,” Andrea Miller, the president of NIRH, said in a statement. But once they’re educated, boy oh boy, do they race to embrace the pro-abortion cause.
So how do you get poll results which justify this conclusion? By getting “participants up to speed.” How did they do that?
According to Culp-Ressler’s, researchers provided participants “with information from the Guttmacher Institute detailing the different categories of new state laws that make it more difficult to access abortion.”
So, for example, you ask about laws “requiring doctors to give women medically inaccurate information about the risks of abortions,” and laws “requiring women to make multiple, medically unnecessary appointments for an abortion,” or laws “banning Medicaid from covering abortion in almost all circumstances.”
In other words, you provide respondents with ultra-loaded, slanted phraseology intended to prime the pro-abortion-response pump.
After hearing this agitprop, the participants are asked, “In general, do you feel these laws are going in the right direction or wrong direction?” Then they’re asked for a one-word description which are mostly expressions of unhappiness. This, Culp-Ressler assures us, is proof positive the public will get really angry at pro-life legislation if NIRH fills “a big information gap” with pro-abortion talking points.
However what kind of results would you get if, for example, you asked the same three questions but in language that does not tell the respondent how to answer? For example how about “requiring abortionists to tell women about such possible risks as increasing the chances of having breast cancer or preterm babies” (now that the abortionist has sliced around in the area of a woman’s reproductive organs)?
Or “requiring that a woman has a day or three to reflect after she have seen the abortionist before making a life and death decision”?
Or “ensuring that your tax payer dollars do not pay for abortions?”
Instead of “angry,” “unnecessary,” or “unfair,” you’d probably hear “necessary,” “commonsensical,” and “good.”
Culp-Ressler explains that this is the latest go-round in the new and improved way of getting at the “real” sentiment about abortion. We’ve written previously about this push-polling.
As I wrote back then, and reiterate again now, there is an information gap, just not the one Culp-Ressler is advertising. The public doesn’t know…
- Abortion is essentially legal throughout the nine months of pregnancy
- There have been more than 61 million abortions since 1973
- In many states parents are not even allowed to know their minor daughter is about to have an abortion
- By 20 weeks, if not sooner, the unborn child can feel pain, which is unimaginatively horrific as she is aborted
- The manner in which many unborn children die is by bleeding to death–after their arms and legs have been torn off.
But I wholeheartedly agree with NIRH president Miller on one point. “The recent trend in anti-abortion legislation could eventually move voters to take action.”
It will, indeed.