Wednesday, July 26, 2006

When is a child not a child?

When it makes your political point look more defensible.

To say that an article by Gary Younge is a piece of one-eyed misleading nonsense might be thought a tautology, but his latest effort does deserve a little bit of examination. The US senate decided on Tuesday to pass a law already agreed in Congress three times. Younge describes the impact of this law as criminalising young women who go to another state to have an abortion without their parents' consent, but since the law is aimed specifically at minors, the use of the phrase young women seems tendentious. Put it this way, if a law was aimed at imprisoning minors, do you think Younge would use the phrase "young women" to describe them, or "children"? Given that soldiers fighting for the US are routinely described as 'children' in the Guardian I think we can guess the answer.

To make it odder, Younge refers to polls showing that a significant majority of Americans are in favour of abortion laws as they stand but even a brief look at the polls shows no such thing. Roe v Wade makes abortion a constitutional right in all circumstances. The AP poll on the page cited by Younge asks:

Abortion should be?

Legal in all cases: 19%
Legal in most cases: 32%
Illegal in most cases: 27%
Illegal in all cases: 16%

Given that Roe v Wade, by creating a constitutional right to abortion, is a reflection of the "legal in all cases" choice, it would appear that 75% of Americans actually oppose it. If Younge can't even read the polls he cites, why the hell should be we bother listening to him?

1 Comments:

Blogger The Pedant-General in Ordinary said...

"If Younge can't even read the polls he cites, why the hell should be we bother listening to him?"

I'm sorry, Tim, I don't understand your qualifier: should this just read:

"why the hell should be we bother listening to him?"

11:47 am  

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