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Thursday, April 9, 2009
CNS Hides Partisan Nature of Pollster

An April 9 article by Penny Starr on a press conference by supporters of a "conscience clause" that allows health-care workers to refuse to take part in such procedures as prescribing birth control:

The results of a nationwide poll by The Polling Company/Woman Trend of 800 adults, 18 or older, and 2,865 members of faith-based health care professional organizations also was unveiled at the press conference.
The poll found that 87 percent of the adults said they think health care professionals should not be forced to participate in procedures and practices that they morally oppose – a number that represents people across the political spectrum.

Starr fails to note that The Polling Company is operated by a Republican activist, Kellyanne Conway; thus her polling on this issue is suspect since it can be surmised that the questioning was tailored to provide the kinds of responses that "conscience clause" supports want.

Conway has also demonstrated a hostility toward President Obama, who is considering altering or reversing the "conscience clause." In March 2008, Conway said that then-presidential candidates Obama and Hillary Clinton "arguing about whether she should let him sit on the back of the bus of her presidential ticket." Conway also predicted in 2007 that Obama would lose because nobody had heard of him before 9/11. Being a good, loyal Republican, Conway even rushed to Rudy Giuliani's defense over his personal history of divorces and estrangement from his children.

Starr devoted only a single sentence out of her 23-paragraph article to critics of the conscience clause, writing that they "charge the regulation will impose sweeping changes that will limit access to medical care, especially reproductive health care, for millions of Americans." Starr offers no further detail about the criticism, yet allows a supporter to assert that "the opposite is true."

Posted by Terry K. at 10:32 AM EDT

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