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Fatally Flawed Survey on C225, "Cassie and Molly's Law"

Fri, 07/22/2016 - 12:34
It's a truism because it's true: You get what you pay for.

Cathay Wagantall, sponsor of the latest sneak attack on abortion rights, C225, glurgily nicknamed "Cassie and Molly's Law," bought six questions on a Nanos omnibus poll.

Here's her media release trumpeting the results.
According to the Nanos poll, a majority of Canadians are in favour of Cassie and Molly’s Law, with nearly 70% of respondents saying that they support a law that would make it a separate crime to harm or cause the death of a preborn child while harming a pregnant woman.The release contains no links, no details, no methodology.

So I asked on Twitter and Nik Nanos supplied a link to the power point presentation of the survey (PDF).

Here are the excerpted highlights (numbers added).
1. Half of Canadians say causing harm to a pregnant woman should carry a more severe punishment

2. Canadians support charging those who harm unborn children with a separate crime - Seven in ten Canadians either support (47%) or somewhat support (22%) creating a law that would make it a separate crime to cause harm or the death of an unborn child....

3. Canadians more likely to support the legislation if it has no impact on current abortion laws

4. Majority of Canadians feel it is possible to create the new law and keep abortion legal

5. Canadians feel it is important that offenders be charged separately for harming a fetus

6. Half of Canadians support rights to abortion within a time limit
Number 1: More severe punishment. Dumb question. Offenders in Canada already face stiffer sentencing in cases like this through "aggravating factors" which judges are required to consider.

Number 2: Support for a separate criminal charge. Compare here with Ms Wagantall's media release. She is playing a little loose with the numbers. Her "nearly 70%" is actually made up of 47% who support plus 22% who somewhat support.

But that's nuancy, beyond the typical cognitive powers of fetus freaks.

Number 3: More likely to support law if no impact on abortion laws. Another dumb question. There are NO abortion laws in Canada.

Leaving that aside, while Ms Wagantall stomps her feet and shrieks insists that her bill was verrrry carefully written to exclude any impact on abortion rights, others disagree. See links to posts below for many examples, but here's a recent one, from Indiana.

Indiana, home to Governor Mike Pence, now Donald Trump's pick for Vice President of Homophobia and Misogyny, has a "personhood" law that criminalizes any harm to fetuses. So far, it has imprisoned at least one woman, Purvi Patel, for using abortion drugs bought online to end an unwanted pregnancy. Ms Patel was sentenced to 20 years in prison for "feticide." But her conviction was overturned today.

The Indiana Legislature did not intend for the state’s feticide statute to apply to pregnant women or illegal abortions, including the one a northern Indiana woman executed by taking drugs ordered from Hong Kong, the Court of Appeals held Friday.The legislation was NOT intended to criminalize pregnant women, but it fucking well did, in the hands of overzealous cops and prosecutors.

And this is precisely why Ms Wagantall's bill is incredibly dangerous.

Number 4: Too stupid to comment on. What is the point of asking ordinary people what they "feel" about possible implications of a new law?

Number 5: Importance of such a law. Again, why ask this? If they support it, they support it.

But Number 6 is where the alarm bells really go off. "Half of Canadians support rights to abortion within a time limit."

From the PDF
Question: Which of the following most closely represents your personal view about the legal status of abortion?


This is so glaringly opposed to what all other recent polls report on Canadian attitudes to abortion that the whole survey should be kicked down a long flight of stairs.

In February this year, Global News commissioned an exclusive poll from Ipsos.
Canadian attitudes toward abortion appear to be shifting, according to a new Ipsos poll, as six in ten say abortion should be permitted whenever a woman decides she wants."Whenever a woman decides she wants."

Whenever. No time limits.

Similarly, the National Post reported in 2012 that 60% of Canadians say that abortion should be legal "always". (Original emphasis.)

On Twitter last night @Demolition Woman, who is an opinion pollster, offered some thoughts on the survey's methodology.

@fernhilldammit I wouldn't publish if I spotted that kind of discrepancy in a commonly-asked question. Tells me the respondent base is off.

— Demolition Woman (@sieenns) July 22, 2016

@fernhilldammit Also this mixed mode where they get old ppl by RDD and the rest online is garbage & they should not report a margin of error

— Demolition Woman (@sieenns) July 22, 2016

@fernhilldammit Only 28% support abortion under any circumstances? That's at least 20ppt below other rcnt polls that ask almost the same Q.

— Demolition Woman (@sieenns) July 22, 2016

So, what did Ms Wagantall, or her enthusiastic fetus freak colleagues like Dominionist Mike Schouten, pay for this piece of dreck?

Nanos charges $1000 per closed question -- these are all closed questions -- on a Canadian omnibus survey, so $6000.

Supporters of C225, or the Wolf in Sheep's Clothing Anti-Abortion Bill, got the results they wanted, at a price they found acceptable.

Too bad the survey itself doesn't stand up to even casual scrutiny.


REMINDER: If you haven't already, please sign the e-petition opposing this backdoor attack on abortion rights. The petition needs 500 signatures to be presented to Parliament. It's got just over 350 now.

Previous DJ! posts on the Wolf in Sheep's Clothing bill:
Dead as a Door Nail

Exploiting Grief to Attack Abortion Rights

Vengeance Drives "Unborn Victims" Law

It's Baaaack: Unborn Victims Bill C484 Redux

Nope, This "Pre-born Victims Bill Won't Pass Either