6 April 2016

Is it a foetus or an unborn child? Most Americans say the former


Four unrelated findings for you today. In recent First Verdict panel surveys we have asked (1) is “unborn baby” a legitimate term to use; (2) whether leading politicians are likely to have been guilty of financial wrongdoing; (3) why shootings have risen sharply in Chicago and other US cities; and, (4), if the nanny state can or should help us reduce our allegedly unhealthy salt intakes.

Hillary Clinton was criticised by pro-abortion groups for saying, on Sunday’s “Meet the Press”, that “the unborn person doesn’t have constitutional rights”. She was rebuked by women’s rights groups and instructed that “fetus” was the correct expression. The YouGov panel tended to agree. In our survey a slim majority of 54% thought that fetus was, indeed, the “most accurate” expression to use. 43%, however, thought “unborn child” was also legitimate.

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Yesterday, we asked about possible financial wrongdoing by leading politicians after this week’s massive leak of confidential documents from a Panama-based legal firm that appeared to shed light on how the rich and powerful, including Russians close to Vladimir Putin, used and misused tax havens. The Prime Minister of Iceland has already resigned because of what the documents appeared to reveal about him. The full question and answers are below but, confirming the Clinton family’s reputation for controversial financial dealings, Bill Clinton was near the top of the list for politicians who voters were inclined (fairly or unfairly) to suspect of wrongdoing while Germany’s Angela “Mutti” Merkel was near the bottom.qodimage-1.php
On Saturday, YouGov’s panel was quizzed about possible explanations for a 71% increase in murders and a 73% increase in shootings in Chicago over the last three months. Nearly half of panel members were open to the widely popularised explanation that “police officers are afraid to do their job properly given recent major cases when they have been accused of racism”. 39%, however, thought it was “dangerous” to rush to any explanation.

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And, finally, the YouGov panel found little enthusiasm for government interventions that might reduce our salt intake. Politico reported that the Obama administration was revisiting its efforts to tackle what it sees as a risk to the nation’s health. Only 43% supported advertising campaigns and taxes on high salt products won the favour of just 11%. 38% wanted health campaigners to “stop trying to scare us about everything we eat”.


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Tim Montgomerie is Editor of Portrait of America