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Greater detail needed to validate abortion survey.



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DEMOCRATS MEDIA GREATER DETAIL NEEDED TO VALIDATE ABORTION SURVEY The Australian Democrats have called on the authors of an abortion survey to reveal the questions used in the survey when they release Phase 2 of the results today. Australian Democrats Leader, Senator Lyn Allison said there are serious concerns on the validity of the Giving Women Choice: Australia Speaks on Abortion survey including the objectivity of the report; how it was funded; and what questions were asked. The Adelaide based Southern Cross Bioethics Institute, which conducted the survey released its initial findings in May. The group claim on its website to be “an independent, non-sectarian, autonomous institution”. However, it was founded by Southern Cross Care Inc, a Catholic Christian organisation. “The group has previously refused to provide a copy of the questions used in the ‘research’,” Senator Allison said. “Given that biases can be introduced in the way questions are asked, it is unethical and unprofessional not to provide this level of detail to allow people to decided for themselves if the research is credible - if they have nothing to hide then why not let people see the all of the information?” Phase 1 of the survey results showed 87% of the 1200 surveyed endorsed a regime of continued access to abortion, coupled with policies to reduce its frequency. “The Democrats welcome scientific research into the range of options open to women and the type of advice being provided - research that is free from bias or agenda,” Senator Allison said. “We would hope as Phase 2 of the survey results are released today that our questions about the phrasing of the questions and validity of the results are also answered.” The Democrats’ Women’s Rights Watch explores the myths and facts about abortion, provides scientific data from a range of research projects and a petition supporting women’s rehabilitation choices http://www.democrats.org.au/campaigns/womens_rights_watch/ Senator Allison will tomorrow attend the launch of new group, Reproductive Choice Australia. Media contact Katrina McGrath 0408 056 167 SENATOR LYN ALLISON

AUSTRALIAN DEMOCRATS LEADER

05/335 TUESDAY 21 JUNE 2005