Misleading abortion poll results

David Farrar has posted  Poll on abortion which repeats some what I thought were misleading poll results, unless you look carefully.

Curia did polling in January for ALRANZ to ascertain views of New Zealanders on whether abortion should be legal in different circumstances.  I thought the results were very interesting with the net level of support (those saying legal less those saying illegal) for each situation being:

  • Pregnant woman likely to die +72%
  • Foetus has no chance of survival +70%
  • Pregnant woman likely to be permanently harmed +70%
  • Pregnancy is a result of rape +65%
  • Pregnancy is a result of birth control failure +31%
  • Pregnant mother can’t afford to have another child +27%
  • Pregnant woman doesn’t want to be a mother +22%

Note that those percentages are “the net level of support (those saying legal less those saying illegal)”, not the actual percentages of responses.

This repeats how the results are displayed on the Abortion Rights Aotearoa in 2017 National Abortion Poll Results. If you click through to the Full Poll Results and Data  you get a different set of numbers:

The level of support for abortion being legal in each situation is:
1. Pregnant woman likely to die 77%
2. Foetus has no chance of survival 76%
3. Pregnant woman likely to be permanently harmed 76%
4. Pregnancy is a result of rape 73%
5. Pregnancy is a result of birth control failure 55%
6. Pregnant mother can’t afford to have another child 54%
7. Pregnant woman doesn’t want to be a mother 51%

The level of support for abortion being illegal in each situation is:
1. Pregnant woman likely to die 5%
2. Foetus has no chance of survival 6%
3. Pregnant woman likely to be permanently harmed 6%
4. Pregnancy is a result of rape 8%
5. Pregnancy is a result of birth control failure 24%
6. Pregnant mother can’t afford to have another child 27%
7. Pregnant woman doesn’t want to be a mother 29%

They follow that with the net results as posted in their Executive Summary and on Kiwiblog, but I think that is not how most people expect to see results and in fact I think appears to understate support for abortion rights.

This seems odd given that the poll was commissioned and published by Abortion Law Reform Association of New Zealand.

They have a table that gives better clarity.

AbortionPollJan2017

Poll details:

CLIENT: Abortion Law Reform Association of New Zealand
POLL DATES: Sun 22 to Mon 30 January 2017. The median response was
collected on Thu 26 January 2017.
TARGET POPULATION: Eligible New Zealand voters.
SAMPLE POPULATION: Eligible New Zealand voters who are contactable on a landline.
SAMPLE SIZE: 1,000 respondents agreed to participate.
SAMPLE SELECTION: A random selection of 15,000 nationwide phone numbers.
WEIGHTING: The results are weighted to reflect the overall voting adult
population in terms of gender, age, and area.
SAMPLE ERROR: Based on this sample of 1,000 respondents, the maximum
sampling error (for a result of 50%) is +/- 3.1%, at the 95% confidence level.

 

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32 Comments

  1. Corky

     /  14th March 2017

    I’m at a loss why all this is so important. The process, as is, at present, is just a rubber stamp exercise. Hell, your daughter can even get an abortion via her school counsellors and you wont be the wiser…unless she dies, becomes ill or becomes mentally unstable later in life.

    Plus the elephant in the room no one dares talk about… statistically women who have abortions are more likely to developed breast cancer.

    Reply
    • The current iis a sham. It works in practice but is a nonsense that should be rectified.

      Reply
      • NOEL

         /  14th March 2017

        There is a bias in the poll that would not have been there two decades ago.
        The cohort was from those who had accessible landlines.

        Reply
    • Griff

       /  14th March 2017

      A child can not get an abortion from her school councilor.
      What she can do is ask the school Councillor to assist her go though the process.
      Most school Councillor I know are philosophically against abortion .Being personally against abortion does not effect their actions in their job.
      Councillors are Professionally bound to client confidentially. Ethically they have no choice but to respect the wishes of the child as overriding that of the parents when it comes to right to know .
      The world is not as simple as many like to think
      Councillors would much rather that the child has the support of the family unfortunately that is not always the case .. In some cases to tell the parents can result in abuse all the way from beatings though slavery to death .
      If your child has a abortion and fails to inform you the fault is yours for not having a healthy and open relationship with your child .

      Reply
      • Corky

         /  14th March 2017

        via
        ˈvʌɪə/
        preposition
        preposition: via

        travelling through (a place) en route to a destination.
        “they came to Europe via Turkey”

        Reply
        • Corky

           /  14th March 2017

          ”If your child has a abortion and fails to inform you the fault is yours for not having a healthy and open relationship with your child .”

          Yeah, right. Funny thing, on one hand society demands more parental responsibility. On the other hand society stops parents democratically discharging those rights.

          Reply
    • Alan Wilkinson

       /  14th March 2017

      Plus the elephant in the room no one dares talk about… statistically women who have abortions are more likely to developed breast cancer

      It is talked about and researched and you are wrong. The evidence is that there is no relationship:

      The American Cancer Society:
      https://www.cancer.org/cancer/cancer-causes/medical-treatments/abortion-and-breast-cancer-risk.html

      The National Cancer Institute:
      https://www.cancer.gov/types/breast/abortion-miscarriage-risk

      Reply
      • Corky

         /  14th March 2017

        That’s the debate. Vested interests. Liberal interests.

        Reply
          • Alan Wilkinson

             /  14th March 2017

            Unfortunately Wishart became a religious nutter and I stopped reading him. The Cancer Society has no reason to be biased on the subject.

            Reply
            • Corky

               /  14th March 2017

              You just shut down the debate. I wasn’t expecting that from you, Alan.
              Perhaps Wishart faked the studies in the footnotes? Unlike you, I’m not 100 % sure of any studies.

              ”The Cancer Society has no reason to be biased on the subject.”

              Well, all I can say is they are the nutters who less than 25 years ago pooh hood any talk of fruit and vege’s being able to reduce cancer risks.

              They are also the quacks who are refusing to accept massive studies confirming Vitamin D has major implications on our health and breast cancer in particular.

            • Alan Wilkinson

               /  14th March 2017

              It was a simple fact, Corky. I used to subscribe to Investigate but cancelled my subscription after Wishart found God and lost all reason.

              When you are uncertain you don’t make statements that pretend you are certain:

              statistically women who have abortions are more likely to developed breast cancer

            • Corky

               /  14th March 2017

              So because Wishart lost all reason.. the studies quoted are by association wrong.

              ”When you are uncertain you don’t make statements that pretend you are certain:”

              Quote:

              ”Plus the elephant in the room no ONE DARES TALK ABOUT… statistically women who have abortions are more likely to developed breast cancer.”

              Maybe I should have substituted debate for talk.

            • Alan Wilkinson

               /  14th March 2017

              Ok, I accept you intended it less certain than I read it as, Corky.

            • Corky

               /  14th March 2017

              No probs.. the poor grammar is mine.

            • Kitty Catkin

               /  14th March 2017

              Wishart used to sign himself Wishart.

              I somehow think that he isn’t Lord Wishart, a peer of the realm and thus entitled to sign himself with just his surname. What a prat.

              The only stories of his that I ever read seemed to be sensationalist headlines that were not matched by the articles.

            • Corky

               /  14th March 2017

              I know, Alan already explained why many don’t like him. I take a different tack. This guy has written too many good books to to chucked on the scrap heap. Incidentally, when did he sign himself as ” Wishart?”

  2. Patzcuaro

     /  14th March 2017

    At present it is usually the mother that faces the consequences of unwanted pregnancies. Until men share equally in the consequences of unwanted pregnancies, the wishes of the mother should be paramount.

    Reply
    • Alan Wilkinson

       /  14th March 2017

      Actually the consequences are shared unequally in both directions. The woman has to bring up the child and the man has to pay for it. If either are unwilling, what should happen?

      Reply
      • Patzcuaro

         /  14th March 2017

        While the father (if named) has to contribute financially they can usually get on with their lives (maybe even move overseas) whereas the mother often ends up with the day to day responsibility till the child becomes independent.

        Reply
        • PDB

           /  14th March 2017

          The entire system is very much in the mother’s favour, men seeking custody are largely ignored and the money the father must pay is huge, especially if he is also having the kids on a regular basis (even after the recent policy changes that attempted to make the system fairer).

          Reply
          • Gezza

             /  14th March 2017

            So … they should reduce their risk … yes?

            Reply
            • Kitty Catkin

               /  14th March 2017

              A man who ISN’T the father but who is named and takes the woman’s word that he is, will still be liable. No man could bring home a baby that he’s had by another woman and make his partner liable for it financially.

              Nor can a man opt out of responsibility because he doesn’t want to be a father !

    • Blazer

       /  14th March 2017

      in this day and age I wonder how unwanted pregnancies are a problem.So many contraception options available,I think the responsibility lies solely with ….women.

      Reply
  3. Brown

     /  14th March 2017

    ”If your child has a abortion and fails to inform you the fault is yours for not having a healthy and open relationship with your child .”

    My wife thought this until her 13 year old got put on the pill by a counselling agency with access to the school so she could get rooted by a slightly older loser (she regrets the lack of self respect but you can’t change things past). There were consequences because there were behavioral changes that saw me take a stand which quickly saw her unravel because she didn’t like being outside after leaving home for 30 minutes on a miserable wet winter night. Once the facts were apparent the problem was sorted quite quickly and our reaction saw a new level of trust develop.

    It remains my view that kids will be open about things except the ones they know you will have well developed and firm views on. I never snogged girlfriends in front of my parents because they would have viewed it as disrespectful – you hide what you think you have to.

    Reply
    • Griff

       /  14th March 2017

      i am glad that such a crisis strengthened the bond and trust between parents and child for your family.
      Don’t you think that being on the pill was better than an unwanted pregnancy to such a loser?

      My long time girl friend is a school councilor and a committed christian apposed to abortion.
      She has worked in decile one to decile ten schools.
      There is a vast difference between the mostly first world problems seen in high decile schools and the horrific stuff that goes on in poorer suburbs .
      She often offloads the stress of dealing with her clients on me .
      Some of the stuff she deals with daily is enough to make a adult male cry. Unfortunately Rape, violence and incest are part of the culture of some dysfunctional family’s.
      Changing the rules to suit the wishes of first world parents will result in beatings,kids being sent back to the home county for a life of slavery or even being killed due to misguided ideas of honer.

      A Councillor needs the trust of their clients.
      If children know that there is no confidentially in discourse with the school Councillor they will not be open about issues just as they are not open with their parents.
      At times the counselor is the only adult person in their world that a child can rely on for any support . If mandatory reporting to parents or the authority’s was enforced such children will be left battling issues alone .

      Reply
      • Alan Wilkinson

         /  14th March 2017

        Yes, it’s a fraught issue with no simplistic or universal answers. Mere humans try to do their best with the information they have which is sometimes unreliable or inadequate. Sometimes children’s expectations of parent hostility are wrong but sometimes they are all too accurate.

        Reply
      • Brown

         /  14th March 2017

        The pill issue was not the issue. What pissed me off was the ignoring of potential for some advice (that her friends offered) around not wasting time and hymen on a loser who told her to piss off as soon as he had the notch. There was no discussion about what was sensible – all that mattered was the physical exchange of fluids (or not). Some sensible advice from an adult about what was sensible, or moral perhaps, would have been a useful ingredient to have in the mix but that would be so old fashioned I guess.

        Reply
        • Kitty Catkin

           /  14th March 2017

          THAT has been going on since time immemorial-as Eng Lit shows.

          I like the way that some judges in c.16 Brittany handled the old-even then-one where the bloke persuaded his friends to say that they’d all been with the girl, so the baby was probably not his. The whole lot would be made to pay up. I don’t know if it was one payment between them or one each so that the girl was paid for seven babies, so to speak (or however many of the friends said that they had slept with her) but serve them right either way,

          Reply
        • Griff

           /  14th March 2017

          I don’t know the school or the councilor in question
          But I do Know that a good councilor will try to lead a client into making good moral decisions for themselves by asking questions with such a goal in mind .
          Asking such questions as: do you think this boy really is into you is is he just interested in sex? or do you think you are ready for having sex? .
          They work for the child only not the parents so what the parents want is not part of the equation .
          Hopefully the two coincide but not always.
          I know of a case were a councilor ended up arranging alternative accommodation ,with a Christian couple, for a child and her coming baby when the parents insisted the child have an abortion and the girl was very strongly against the procedure .
          It is always a huge step for a child to leave their home and family.
          Even when there is horrific abuse happening sometimes the child will chose to stay in such a destructive environment because it is their family and that is all they have.
          In that case the councilor will help the child to develop safety techniques to minimize the risk of further abuse .
          Councilors generally get into the profession because they give a f**K and think they can make a difference . It is often a thankless soul destroying job to be dealing with a never ending stream of abuse on a daily basis. It takes an immensely strong and dedicated person to stay in the profession.. My gf focuses on the glints of good human nature and the positive outcomes not on the ever coming case load of damaged and abused .And her time with me of course …

          Reply
  4. Patzcuaro

     /  14th March 2017

    It would be wise to reduce human population pressure on the planet whether you believe in man made global warming or not. Abortion is very much an ambulance at the bottom of the cliff approach. Improved sex and civics education would be a much better approach.

    Reply
    • Kitty Catkin

       /  14th March 2017

      It’s taught in schools, but there are always those who think that it will be all right for them.

      I would have thought that any girl on the pill would need to see a doctor. It’s a prescription drug,The counsellors are in an impossible position-they either have to betray confidentiality, which woul\d mean that nobody would talk to them, or go against the pupil’s parents wishes, or what they guess would be their wishes.

      Reply

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