Totally surprising things: Bob McCoskrie and DPF twist poll results to suit own/client’s wishes

The headline:

Two out of three support informed consent on abortion

DPF’s “surprised” comment:

I asked a couple of female friends what they thought, as I was puzzled that more women said they supported a law effectively making it more difficult to have an abortion.

The actual poll question?

“Would you support a law that would require a woman considering an abortion to first see a doctor, who is not an abortion provider, to be informed of the medical risks and alternatives to abortion?”

Hmm.  Something seems wrong with this picture.  TO THE SLUTCAVE!

Your first hint might be that Family First (who have followed the Kiwi Party’s cue in wheeling out a spokeswoman when convenient) immediately state this in their press release:

“Family First NZ is calling for a law which requires informed consent including ultrasound for all potential abortions, and counselling to be provided only by non-providers of abortion services. Parental notification of teenage pregnancy and abortion should happen automatically except in exceptional circumstances approved by the court.”

That’s funny.  The poll question didn’t mention any of those things.  1950s-style-Families First wouldn’t be just using a strangely-innocuous poll question to pretend there’s more support for their misogynist bullshit than there really is, would they?

As a sidenote, you’ve got to love that condition on parental notification.  Circumstances approved by the court!  Because a teen in the kind of situation where it’s in her best interests not to tell her parents she’s getting an abortion totally has time and resources to get a fucking court order without them knowing!  “Honey, why do you have a court date to get an injunction against parental notification of an abortion?  You’re not going to have an abortion, are you?”  “No, possibly abusive parents, of course not!”

The poll also didn’t say anything about how this might make it harder for women to get abortions.  Funny, because if DPF were so concerned maybe he could have counselled his clients about how they might not get accurate results with such an open-ended, not-considering-the-consequences question.

Let’s remember that in New Zealand, even women who get abortions often have no fucking idea at the outset how long and how stressful the process is.  So it’s no fucking good to say “oh, I guess this majority of people just considered that forcing women to see yet another medical practitioner, in order to check that they do really want to undergo the medical procedure they’ve already had to see two medical practitioners whom they’ve had to convince to liberally interpret the law’s definition of “mental health” grounds in order to get permission to have.”

But that’s hardly the only problem with the question.  “Seeing a doctor who is not an abortion provider” is a wonderful little dogwhistle, particularly common to US antichoicers, that somehow Planned Parenthood or Family Planning are just raaaaaaaaaking in the cash, that every Pweshus Embwyo’s life makes them miiiiiillions, that doctors just love facing daily harassment and even the threat of death in order to make the faaaaaaaaaaat dollaaaaaaaaaaaahs out of abortions.

You do realise they could just go into Botoxing women’s faces, right?

DPF’s open-mouthed innocence is brilliant, though:

One salient question I would pose on this issue is whether such a procedure would actually lead to some women not having an abortion due to “better” information, who do currently have an abortion – or would it just be an extra hassle and cost for every woman seeking an abortion, and not actually change anything.

“Salient question”, DPF?  Do your clients know that you’re undermining their entire rationale for forcing women to undergo ultrasounds – i.e. “women are stupid and seeing da widdle handies and feeties (which the vast majority of aborted zefs won’t have anyway) will totes change their minds because they must just think they’re pregnant with guppies.”

And a little protip:  “informed consent” is not the same fucking thing as “an antichoice doctor shoving a probe into your vagina and saying “look there’s a heartbeat, boy this little guy sure is energetic, and did we mention [insert antichoice lie of preference here]*”” … especially when there is no proof it will change someone’s mind.

And a final note:  when antichoicers say “alternatives to abortion”, they mean “adoption“.  Because apparently the alternative to not continuing a pregnancy you don’t want to continue is … continuing a pregnancy you don’t want to continue.  Presumably as long as your baby is “healthy” and “normal” and white.


*My personal favourite is “you’ll die of breast cancer!!!” and right here I think it’s pretty salient to point out that no New Zealand woman has died due to an abortion since 1980.  Out of over 380,000 abortions.  Abortion?  Safer than pregnancy.  But you don’t see Family First arguing that we need to warn women about pre-eclampsia for their own good, that might interfere with The Breeding.


    • QoT

      Thanks Deborah! Not so much hard yards, just subjecting my keyboard to my postwork rantings instead of my long-suffering partner.

  1. Vincristine

    So dpf asked a couple of female friends. Why should it be harder to get an abortion than it is already? What is the logic of more hoops? Except punishing women?

    Ultrasound is a usual requirement of most abortion clinics these days anyway, for clinical rather than punitive reasons. And that is as it should remain. Why do they want women punished with ultrasound?

    I am totally against parental notification, girls have been beaten and had to go the the refuge when their families have found out they are pregnant. Some have been killed. I personally had had to hide women from their family and have them taken to the refuge. Families, yeah great

    No matter what family firsts nest judgement is, a significant number of women are place at risk of violence if they become pregnant.

    And anyway, isn’t it the woman’s business to tell who she wants if she wants and when she wants? FF are not the best judge of the position a woman finds herself in when pregnant.

    “Better information” than knowing you are pregnant dpf? You either are or not, not a little bit pregnant.

    Abortion is usually the best of a pretty shitty range of choices for most women. I’m all for letting the shitty choice remain with them.

    • Boganette

      Well said.

      Thanks for this post QoT. I am not surprised by FF or DPF. Still sucks though.

      *also “look your baby is smiling at you” is essentially what FF want women to be told when they get their don’t-murder-your-precious-baby-ultrasound.

  2. Vincristine

    And err 2 out of 3 support informed consent? Isnt that what we have? Fully informed consent

    • QoT

      Apparently not, because all those abortion-providing doctors are clearly just lying about … the incredibly high safety record of abortion, or something. Because they’re in it for the money and love killing babies!!! Apparently that makes sense to some people.

  3. Julie Was Here

    OOH! Very nice article! 🙂 Glad you pinged me so I could see it. I added this blog to my blog’s webroll. After reading this, I pretty-much had to.
    BTW, have you head about a new law (in South Dakota, I believe) requiring women seeking abortions to fist visit a Crisis Pregnancy Center, an fake clinic, unlicensed, and staffed by antichoice church-members instead of medical practitioners?

  4. tatjna

    I answered that survey, and most of the questions were either ambiguously worded or offered a ‘choice’ between a good thing and a not-so-good thing. For example, I could support more funding for hospice/palliative care, but only if I did not support voluntary euthanasia – because both things were in the same question.

    I would also question the validity of the results:

    It was a poorly-made survey and people’s answers miraculously disappeared (0% strongly disagreed with question 1? really?) in the results.

  5. Trouble

    What I was surprised about was the level of anti-abortion trollage in DPF’s comments: not that different to what it was at The Standard the other week. The majority voice, at KB of all places, was something along the lines of “those ladies should be able to just get on with their business.” I don’t think the prospect of cross-party support for liberalisation is that unthinkable – in fact a more conservative party has less to lose in picking up a liberal policy.

  6. Trouble

    By which I mean the trollage in the comments under what DPF said, not in DPF’s blog post itself. Doh.

  7. Gravey Dice

    One thing that got me angry was the absolute fuckwit who was claiming

    “Fuck, if there’s one thing that makes my blood boil it’s ignorant men (I’m a male) who parade themselves as progressive and cool because they support womens’ rights. They usually have never looked into the abortion issue and have no idea how negative abortion actually is for women.

    Abortion needs to be uncoupled from the right to vote, the right to by in the Army, the right to be a MP, CEO etc etc etc. It’s very different.

    Men who support abortion are, in my opinion, either unaware of the issue, or ignorant, or fucking cowards.”

    Wow. Nice of him to call me names. Effectively he is saying that men know better than all these ignorant women who really have no idea about abortion.

    For me, it is not so much about supporting abortion as it is about supporting those who support it.

    He said hopefully people will think about what he has said. Yep. I think you are a piece of shit. fucking super fucking hero indeed.

    and tatjna – absolutely! When FF or DPF design a “survey”, you can be pretty damned sure it is loaded. They design surveys purely to support their own argument rather than to find out anything. Do you think good parents should become criminals for lightly smacking their child? Puh-lease.

    Sorry. rant over.

    • QoT

      Don’t you know, Gravey, you as Manly Man must protect we Feeble Wimminz from ourselves? Even we don’t understand abortions are evil soul-destroying rituals of arcane terror! You’re meant to be there to save us from our delusions of being Real People!