After a badly reported Gallup poll on important election issues, on October 20 CNN’s Carol Costello thought she had the answer as to why 39 percent of women felt that abortion was the top issue this election cycle: it’s the Republican’s fault she claimed.
Without any knowledge about the poll other than the percentage of women that chose abortion as the top issue, Costello imagined that the reason so many chose abortion must be because of Missouri’s GOP Senate candidate Todd Akin and his comments about “legitimate rape.” Or maybe it was even Illinois GOP Congressman Joe Walsh’s recent comments about abortion, comments that Costello assured everyone were “controversial.”
These are, of course, nonsensical claims.
First of all this Gallup poll has been badly reported. The Old Media has made the assumption that this 39 percent of respondents must have chosen abortion as the top issue because they are in favor of abortion. But the Gallup organization did not ask that question. All Gallup asked is what was an important issue. The polling firm did not ask respondents if they support abortion or not. For all Carol Costello knows, this 39 percent said abortion is a top issue only because they’ve heard other people talking about it.
The question Gallup asked of female registered voters in 12 swing states was simply this: “What do you consider the most important issue for women this election?”
Notice Gallup didn’t ask if these women support abortion or oppose it. They just asked what was an important issue.
Like most of the Old Media, Costello’s first mistake, then, was to imagine that this 39 percent must be supportive of abortion.
Secondly, Costello mentions the comments that Illinois Congressman Joe Walsh made “last night.” So, how is it possible that a poll that had been concluded a week previously could have been affected by something that a Chicago-area Republican said some 7 days after the poll was done? Your guess is as good as mine.
We are all familiar by now with Todd Akin’s garbled comments about abortion. As to Congressman Walsh, he was attacked by the left for a comment he made during a candidate debate this week. During that debate, Walsh said that he was “pro-life without exception.” His opponent, Democrat Tammy Duckworth, has accused Walsh of being for the death of the mother in the case of “life of the mother” issues.
Walsh dismisses this criticism. In an October 20 press release, Walsh said that this “life of the mother” issue is a red herring because it is so exceedingly rare.
When it comes to having an abortion to save the life of a mother, I will say again that, outside of the very rare circumstances such as ectopic pregnancies, during which both the mother and baby will die if the baby is not aborted, and other rare health issues, the research is pretty clear that with the advances in modern medicine, an invasive and traumatic procedure like an abortion is not necessary to save the life of a mother. In those very rare cases where a mother’s life may be in danger past the point of viability for the baby, today’s doctors work to induce labor or perform a caesarean section in an attempt to save BOTH lives. These cases are extremely rare, and they unfortunately are used by the militant pro-choice movement to justify every single abortion.
Walsh said that his opponent may spend the next 19 days talking about abortion, but he is going to spend that same 19 days talking about important issues like jobs and the economy, real issues that face every American.
One would hope that CNN would also chose to talk about the real issues facing Americans instead of going off on fantasy-based suppositions and innuendo based on no facts at all.
Transcript of above video
CNN’s Carol Costello:That’s what a new Gallup poll shows. 39 percent of women say that abortion is the number one issue for them in the campaign. And that has more than a few women asking, abortion? Why now? Maybe it’s because there’s been so much controversial language surrounding the issue lately, like Congressman Todd Akin’s legitimate rape comments. And just yesterday, Ann Romney visited the ladies on The View and she talked about her own take on abortion.
…Another congressman, Republican Joe Walsh made some comments about abortion last night and they’re quite controversial.
….But because these sorts of comments are out there, might that be a reason that women are so concerned about the abortion issue?
…when you have comments like what Joe Walsh just said, it just paints Republican men in an unrealistic way, perhaps?