Nadine Dorries: unbelievable

Posted by Tim Ireland at 21 May 2008

Category: Christ...

This entry was posted on
Wednesday, May 21st, 2008
at
1:56 pm and is filed
under Christ….

Dawn Primarolo: “The hon. Lady has asserted many things to be facts that are not.”

Mrs. Dorries: “If the Minister feels that I have said anything tonight – cited any statistic or piece of information – that is not factual, I hope that she will challenge it.”

Ooh! Ooh! Me first, please!

One thing that caught my eye last night was the number of Tories using data from a poll conducted on behalf of the Christian Institute. I found the raw data this morning and I’d like to share something special with you.

ComRes conducted this poll “on behalf of the Christian Institute on the public’s views of abortion” from a sample of 1014 people. In my view, things like (a) the size of the sample (b) the wording of the questions and (c) the interpretation and presentation of the data are all worthy of comment, but let’s keep things tidy for now and watch what happens to the numbers after they leave the hands of ComRes…

ComRes – Abortion Survey : CATI Fieldwork : 2nd-4th May 2008

… and are then released by the Christian Institute with these two key claims:

– Three in four women (73 per cent) think the abortion limit should be reduced to 20 weeks or lower to be more in line with EU countries.

– 72 per cent of women (and more than half of the general public) also want a lower abortion time limit in light of the survival rates of babies born before 24 weeks

… and are then used by a series of Conservative MPs in what Iain Dale hails(!) as a “set piece debate” in the House…

Edward Leigh uses the data, as does Mark Pritchard (who cleverly presents it as the specific will of his constituents) but the whopper belongs to Nadine Dorries, who stepped from the world of reality to a land of wishful thinking a long, long time ago…

Nadine Dorries:”The public have been informed by the images of how a foetus develops, the knowledge that foetuses feel pain in the uterus earlier, the knowledge of what happens in a late termination, the fact that doctors do not want to perform abortions and the fact that they are not performed in the NHS but in private clinics, and they have taken a view. Their view is that they do not want any further late terminations at 24 weeks. The public do not say that they want the limit to come down from 24 weeks; the public – including three quarters of women – say that they want 20 weeks. They specify what they want.

[emphasis mine]

Do they really?

Well, in a word… no.

First, you have to know where this comes from:

– Three in four women (73 per cent) think the abortion limit should be reduced to 20 weeks or lower to be more in line with EU countries.

[emphasis mine]

The Christian Institute arrived at the above figure/claim by taking the options in the red area below that fit the criteria for “20 weeks or lower” (note that this includes an outright ban on abortion) and adding the corresponding figures (circled in red) to arrive at a total of 73% in support of 20 weeks… or lower.

poll grab

But Nadine claimed the support of three quarters of all women on 20 weeks specifically, and made quite a thing of their making that as an informed choice

But if Nadine is to rely on the poll data, the best she can say for sure is that only 15% (less than a quarter) of all women back the option of a reduction to 20 weeks specifically… and only when it is spoon fed to them.

I’m sorry, but the notion that the public has seen the light and embraced Nadine’s wisdom is a fantasy.

Unless she knowingly mislead the House in her speech, Nadine Dorries is a delusional nitwit prone to belief in her own hype and publicity.

She’s still out there right now telling the world that she lost because Parliament failed and is out of touch with the will of the people (and by that she means her people).

I think some time need to be spent looking closely at this poll and how it was used in an effort to fool the people, but for now spare a moment for Nadine Dorries and the tragic extent to which she is still fooling herself.

She needs to spend some time away from people who believe more than they think and ‘know’ more than they can prove.

RELATED BLOGGAGE:
Septicisle – It was Dorries wot lost it! (now also drawing comments at Liberal Conspiracy)
NHS Blog Doctor – Nadine Dorries loses the abortion debate
Ministry of Truth – Fallout Boy #1
Sunny Hundal – Fundamentally flawed
Liberal Conspiracy – How MPs voted on abortion, and other points
Vraie fiction – Fundamentalism as a cancer
Anorak – Christian Fundamentalists Aborted: Nadine Dorries Tagged
Ministry of Turth – Fallout Boy #2 – The Mad Nad Special (Unity fisks Nadine’s ‘contribution’ to the debate… grab a coffee and dig in)
Septicisle – The final words on Dorries (for now)
Vraie fiction – A letter to Mrs. Dorries (<------ You'll probably wish that you wrote this. I wish that Nadine would admit to receiving it and many emails like it.)








13 Comments

  1. mikkimoose says

    This comes across as splitting hairs to an extent.I think the dishonest questioning is the thing to foucs on: the data is totally worthless because of the manner under which it was obtained. So there's not much point in arguing with them when the data is worthless to start with. I didn't even LOOK at the figures. I'm not sure why you have bothered. They do not deserve attention.It's like doing two surveys about animal testing with the following questions:"Monkeys are are closest living relatives and are tortured, beaten, and mistreated for medical research. Do you think testing on primates should be banned"OR"Testing on monkeys is conducted to help find cures to cancer and other diseases. Do you think testing on primates should be banned"Clearly you will get a very different answer.Now in fact, dishonest Dorries could have got data that is very favourable to her cause from the much more reasonably expressed Yougov poll. But she's so fundamentallistand prepared to seize on anything to support her argument, even if the motivation heind the questioning was dishonest.Here is the Yougov question:http://extras.timesonline.co.uk/poll.pdf"MPs will shortly debate the law on abortion. Currently, the legal time limit for abortion is 24 weeks. Some MPs want to reduce this limit to 20 weeks.Leaving aside medical emergencies which of these options do you favour?"59% of women said 20 weeks, 7% said ban altogether, 28% said 24 weeks, and 6% didn't know.So she could quite well say "66% of women do not support the current 24 week limit", that "most women want the limit reduced to 20 weeks", or even "over 70% of women expressing an opinion wanted the limit to be reduced".There is public support for 20 weeks (men, btw, do appear to support 24 weeks, or at least 50/50). It's just a shame she's can't act reasonably in expressing it, rather than acting like a swivel-headed fundamentalist loon.

  2. mikkimoose says

    Of course there is a more fundamental point here.We do not have government by plebiscite. MPs are entrusted to review the evidence and make decisions based on it. The question "do you think abortion limits should be cut to 20 weeks?" in many ways begs the answer yes, because it is foetus-focused, and concerned only with numbers.If you instead consider that only 1% of abortions happen within 20 and 24 weeks, and examine who is having the abortions, and their mental wellbeing, are they a young teenager who hasn't been able to get to a doctor before, are they told that their health would be in danger if the have the baby, and that you are not going to have an abortion at 23 weeks just for fun. If the government chose 10 such women and presented their story to the people beign questioned, they would get a different set of opinions.This is what MPs are supposed to do, evaluate this evidence, the actual people who would be affected, not wave appallingly conducted (or even the honest ones) polls to show that 'it is the will of people'.

  3. Dave Cole says

    "In Great Britain the upper limit for abortion is 24 weeks. By comparison in most other EU countries the limit is 12 weeks or lower. In light of this difference what do you think the limit should be in Britain?"That seems awfully close to what is known in the trade as push polling. The statement is also inaccurate; in most other EU countries, abortion is available on demand, as a right, up until the twelfth week and then a range of different rules apply.For Ms Dorries' claim about the public specifying what limit they want to have any validity, it would have to be an unprompted question.xD.

  4. Paul.Ferrari says
  5. Manic says

    mikkimoose: Take a look at that text and the point she was trying to make. She honestly believed and/or wanted us to believe that she had 3/4 of the country backing her, and no doubt still does. That worries me, especially when the major malfunction is not in the somewhat flawed data but in her deeply flawed mind.Paul.Ferrari provides the confirmation, as if it were needed, that she still clings to this…"I have a great deal of sympathy when people say politicians – and MPs in particular – are out of touch with the views of the public. Opinion polls consistently show that the public wants to see a reduction in the upper limits for abortions, which is already one of the highest in Europe, yet yesterday the majority of MPs defied the views of the majority of their constituents and voted for the status quo."http://www.dorries.org.uk/Story.aspx?ID=766

  6. Paul.Ferrari says

    Well first it was undemocratic – because she lost – now MPs are out of touch with the Public – because she lost.I can see a theme developing here ….

  7. Unity says

    It might be worth pointing out the the upper limit in most of Europe isn't 12 weeks, that's just the upper limit for abortions on request.The upper limit for abortions on medical/social grounds in Germany is 22 weeks.In Denmark its 24 weeks.Sweden is 22 week, with an 18 week on request limit.Holland is 24 weeks, in practice 22 because their medics prefer to leave a couple of weeks margin of error.France is 12 weeks on demand but no limit where medical grounds are shown, i.e. where two doctors sign off on the abortion.And the only EU countries with limits below 12 weeks are Ireland & Poland – effectively banned with few exceptions – and Estonia which has an 11 week on demand limit and a 21 week secondary limit.

  8. mikkimoose says

    But Tim, she is right"Opinion polls consistently show that the public wants to see a reduction in the upper limits for abortions, which is already one of the highest in Europe, yet yesterday the majority of MPs defied the views of the majority of their constituents and voted for the status quo"that is true.Polls have showed that when asked if people want to REDUCE the limit, they consistently say yes.Different wordings have got different results though.When people are asked to endorse the status quo, they do so.See:http://www.ipsos-mori.com/content/polls-06/attitu…This 'endorse the status quo' question:"Abortion is currently legal within 24 weeks. That is, a woman is allowed to have an abortion at any time within the first 24 weeks of her pregnancy. How strongly do you agree or disagree that abortion should continue to be allowed to take place up to 24 weeks?"got 48/36 in favourand this one, with the "two doctors say it is best for the woman's mental or physical health" loading, was 54/28 in favour:"Abortion is currently legal within 24 weeks. That is, a woman is allowed to have an abortion at any time within the first 24 weeks of her pregnancy, when two doctors have agreed that the abortion is in the interests of her physical or mental health. A very small proportion of abortions (fewer than 2 in a hundred) take place after 20 weeks, but some people say this is too late. How strongly do you agree or disagree that abortion should continue to be allowed to take place up to 24 weeks, when two doctors agree it is best for the woman's physical or mental health?"The statement that polls do consistently show support to reduce the limit is correct. Much of the rest of what she says is not.

  9. Manic says

    That general trend you describe is not the same as the pro-active three quarters of all women backing 20 weeks that Dorries described.

  10. BigDaddyBlog says

    Mark Pritchard is a Liar?

    Mark Pritchard, MP for the Wrekin and all round tory ego boy has done it again, he have to go one better than Nadine Dorries’ proposed 20 week limit for abortion, Mark tabled a 16 week limit. Now I don’t want to get into the rights or wro…

  11. Peter O says

    What a specious argument!! The only way your rejection of the 73% would work is if you assume that some of those who support a ban at say 12 weeks would support aborting at 20 weeks. Just think for a moment how ludicrous that is.

  12. Manic says

    Peter, please read the post again and have a close look at what Nadine claims when she says; "The public do not say that they want the limit to come down from 24 weeks; the public – including three quarters of women – say that they want 20 weeks. They specify what they want."The leading nature of the questions and the poll as a whole makes me deeply suspicious of the resulting figures, but the key thing I highlight (and reject) here is Nadine's misleading claim in the House that the majority of people and 3/4 of all women agree(d) on 20 weeks specifically.Unles you'd care to bring me a poll that (a) shows that 73% of all women have the 'knowledge' Nadine cites and (b) have come around to agreeing with her on a 20 week limit… and no lower. Can you do this?

  13. Floopie says

    Exactly right – there will some of those who support a 12 week ban who would fundamentally disagree with being placed in the category of supporting a 20 week limit.

    Not to mention the ridiculously leading question this information is based on, or the complete lack of heart rending tales in the public domain of women who have had to abort between 20-24 weeks. 1% of all abortions take place at this stage. How many of these have been the result of a 20 week scan revealing the worst news expectant parents can imagine?

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