New York, as in the city where dreams are dreamed, nourished, and unceremoniously flattened by overloaded subway cars and undermining drinking partners named Slack, recently launched a pilot program to freely and discreetly dispense the emergency contraception pill Plan B in 13 schools across the city. Soon after the Department of Education announced that this was happening, feelings were felt and opinions expressed by disaffected parents of New York teenagers. Most of those feelings and opinions were along the lines of, "But, my child should talk to me about sex!" as if that was a thing that happens on the regular in conservative American households. Now, thanks to a poll from a conservative group, New Yorkers who could before only rail about government omnipotence on talk radio, are having their displeasure felt one biased, agenda-laced poll question at a time.
The inestimable New York Post reported that Chiaroscuro Foundation, an anti-abortion group and, presumably, a psychological terror organization aiming to make art history majors hate themselves, commissioned a poll to find out whether New York parents want to protect their children from soulless government machinery or sign over custody of their children's souls to Mayor Bloomberg's covert demon army of city workers. Guess what the poll found?
That's right, 52.3 percent of respondents with children under 18 did not want the Department of Education dispensing Plan B to high school students. Meanwhile, 42.9 percent approve of the program and 4.8 percent had no idea what day of the week it was, let alone whether they approved or disapproved of the DOE program. As evidence that all parents of teenagers are trying to micromanage their kids' lives, 36.1 percent of respondents wanted the DOE to use an active "opt-in" system so that only students whose parents give advance permission can take advantage of the free contraception (which, according to earlier statements from City Council Speaker Christine Quinn, would pretty much defeat the whole purpose of the program, which will most benefit teenagers whose parents disapprove of contraception in the first place).
DOE spokeswoman Erin Hughes dismissed the poll, explaining that the DOE has more important things to worry about than a conservative group's anti-contraception agenda: "We are not going to comment on the merits of a poll commissioned by a group opposed to comprehensive sex education and birth control." Chiaroscuro Foundation executive director Greg Vowels-Are-For-Losers Pfundstein insisted, however, that the poll questions were posed in an "unbiased" way, and that the results seem to contradict the DOE's claim that a mere 1 to 2 percent opt-out rate at the 13 schools indicates that the Plan B program boasts widespread public support.
Biased as the new poll may be, it reveals some interesting borough-by-borough sentiments, namely that a lot (51.2 percent) of Staten Islanders oppose the program, while only 14.8 percent of people in Manhattan, or the Devil's Vaulting Jungle Gym, can express the same wariness.