Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Don't believe the polls

I heard on the news today that a recent poll revealed that 70% of Utah parents would prefer a new sex ed. curriculum that speaks more to contraceptives, controls, and 'how to' methods as opposed to mentioning anything about abstinence.

I was surprised by the poll results (mostly because the report varied so much from my own perception of what Utah parents' would prefer). I was surprised until at the end of the news story, they mentioned that the poll was called for and funded by the Planned Parenthood Association of Utah. I don't know the association very well. That is, I don't know if they ARE the abortion clinics, or just the funding/advocating arm of them. All I know is that when referring to this group, 'planned parenthood' really seems to mean "let us help you mitigate the consequences of sex in such a way as to alleviate all the responsibilities typically associated to it."

So, I have a few questions:

Is the poll fair? -- It's easy to arrange questions to create results you want. I have no question the poll was 'rigged', and is in no way an accurate portrayal of "Utah parents' preferences" as it purported to be.

It was obvious the newscast was designed to sway listeners to believe that they were certainly in the narrow minority (of 30%) if they supported abstinence. Why is the news reporting supposedly 'empirical data' (if you can call loaded business marketing questions ["the poll"] some kind of empirical polling process). . . why is the news reporting such slanted data as though it has some kind of statistical credence. What is the news channels' interest in supporting the business of abortion clinics?

Anyway, I find it morbidly odd that anyone would support an abortion clinic's advocacy of a new curriculum designed around the ability to generate more business for the clinic.

[quick logic on "more business": students are a great market, getting more of them to simply "mitigate" results--one such option, of course, being their "clinical options"--is a great way to drive business to clinics, offering "education" (which I think "propaganda" is a MUCH better word for it) as a state-instituted level is a PERFECT opportunity to have your marketing funded. . . etc.]

How have we let such advocacy become so powerful? Assume 70% of parents in Utah really would prefer their kids just have sex and abort unwanted pregnancies... (which I really doubt). Certainly there was a time when the majority would have been different. Assuming there really are 70% in this group, where did they come from? Are we all really THAT confused on the societal repercussions of negating the consequences of procreation and devaluing life? Assume I'm right, though, and it's really nowhere near the 70%. . . How and why have we let this group be the one advocated by the newscasts?


NOTE: This post is less about my stance on abortion (that's easy: I'm very against it.) This post is more a question about how the media is controlled. It's interesting that such 'left' views are advocated in such a 'right' community as Utah. I'm sure I would find the converse situation as fascinating as this one--maybe less frustrating because I happen to fall into the 'right' category--but just as fascinating, all the same.


Lhone said...

Aren't all polls on sided? Like I said to you, but want credit on the blog...the people trying to push contraceptives are also the ones who know that when you push contraceptives, you end up having more teens having more kids, which in turn boosts the abortion rate. They win all around. Sick and twisted, but how it is.

Dean and Cindy Hatch said...

Great commentary. It should be read by more than your ardent blog fans. Cindy

Christine said...

Interesting poll and I too am surprised by the outcome. Your commentary shows much thought. I am a long time advocate of the Planned Parenthood Organization. Coming of age in the SF Bay Area in 1967, the "summer of love", as a young married I utilized the services of the Oakland Planned Parenthood facility. Forced to leave my employment when I hit the 8th month of a planned pregnancy ... there was no Family Leave Act then, I also lost my health insurance. After the birth of my daughter, I needed contraceptives. Doctors were expensive and pharmacies expected payment for pills. Planned parenthood, on the other hand, had a sliding fee scale for services. If you could pay fine, if not, you were not denied access. The Oakland facility situated where it was had more than it's share of "working girls" who used the services. The few extra dollars those girls left on the table, paid for countless pills for the runaways and throwaways that had made their way to the Bay Area at that time. All of this was before Roe vs Wade - so abortion counseling wasn't their focus. Many years later (1989) my college ethics class featured a panel discussion on women's health issues. Notables on that panel included Faye Wattleton of Planned Parenthood and Justice Scalia. I remain an advocate of Planned Parenthood and choice today. Sorry for the length of this comment; I did try to be concise.