California Pro-Life Group Disputes Results of Field Poll Showing Abortion Support

State   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Jul 23, 2010   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

California Pro-Life Group Disputes Results of Field Poll Showing Abortion Support

by Steven Ertelt Editor
July 23
, 2010

Sacramento, CA ( — The director of the California Pro-Life Council is disputing the results of a new Field Poll showing state voters strongly support abortion. The poll has been used by the media and political observers to imply pro-life Senate candidate Carly Fiorina may have a tough election battle.

According to the new survey, more than 70 percent of Californians support legalized abortion.

The Field Poll says that number has remained steady — with anywhere from 66 percent to 71 percent of Golden State voters saying they support abortion since it began polling on it in 1987.

But Brian Johnston of CPLC says the Field Poll demonstrates its intentional "framing of answers" in it’s opinion survey and is at variance with reputable opinion analysis.

"The Field Poll is well known for its ideological agenda and is a paid contractor of such for a consortium of California newspapers," he told yesterday. "The questions in its most recent poll are clearly designed to mislead those questioned and thus intentionally misconstrue their answers.

The survey found 49 percent of California residents want no changes to the existing status of abortion, which is allowed for any reason throughout pregnancy — though they were not informed of this fact.

Johnston says: "Without any knowledge or reference to how widely available human abortions are, or to the actual laws surrounding the procedure, Mark DiCamillo then frames questions that heavily invoke the phrasing ‘right to choose’ yet absent of any specifics of the limits or existing parameters of what it is that is actually ‘chosen.’"

"Yet the entirety of the conclusions he draws from those answers are only about the parameters or limits that should or should not surround abortion. He then proclaims (as the official opinion ‘contractor’ of those several papers) that his conclusions regarding this poll are ‘ the established opinion’ of Californians," Johnston complains.

Although the Los Angeles Times is no stranger to media bias on abortion, Johnston says the large newspaper has actually done a better job on polling than the Field Poll.

"The methods employed by the Los Angeles Times and other agencies have tended to be much more in keeping with organizations seeking objective analysis of opinion," he said.

The California pro-life leader said that is due, in part, to the newspaper asking about specific abortion issues or limits on abortion.

"On the abortion issue The Times has often polled on the specific limits that may or may not exist (abortions on minors – majority regularly supports restoration of parental involvement; late-term abortions – majority oppose)," he said.

"More to the point, The Times has had the honesty and courage to question and poll the media itself about overt media bias on the issue of abortion (July 1990), demonstrating an objectivity and depth of analysis for which Mr. Di Camillo is not widely known," he concluded.

Despite the bias Johnston says is in the Field Poll, it finds Fiorina is getting the support of a broad base of California residents, including 55 percent who either support current abortion laws or want to make abortions easier to obtain.

Also, polling data shows Fiorina is performing much better than the abortion polls alone would indicate.

A July 12 Rasmussen poll has her trailing pro-abortion Sen. Barbara Boxer by just seven percent, with a 49-42 clip.

Related web sites:
California Pro-Life Council –


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