As Congress considers restrictions on and total elimination of federal funding for reproductive health serivces, two new public opinion polls released today indicate that the ultra-right lawmakers pushing for funding bans are far out of step with the majority of American voters. In both polls, a majority of registered voters support federal funding of Planned Parenthood, and clearly oppose efforts to ban funding of the preventive health care services–such as lifesaving cancer screenings, breast exams, birth control, and testing and treatment of sexually transmitted infections–provided by Planned Parenthood clinics.
A Quinnipiac University poll found that a majority of voters (53 percent) opposed “cutting off federal government funding to Planned Parenthood.” The margin was 53 percent to 43 percent. Quinnipiac, using live interviewers calling both cell and land lines, surveyed 1,887 registered voters between February 21st and February 28th, 2011.
Young voters and moderate voters overwhelming support funding for Planned Parenthood. In the Quinnipiac poll, 50 percent of voters identifying as “Independent,” 66 percent of voters ages 18 to 34, and 60 percent of “moderate” voters — opposed “cutting off federal government funding to Planned Parenthood.”
Another poll, by NBC and the Wall Street Journal also released today found that 53 percent of Americans consider it “mostly or totally unacceptable” to “eliminate funding to Planned Parenthood for family planning and preventive health services.”
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In the NBC/WSJ poll, among women overall, 56 percent found it “mostly or totally unacceptable” to “eliminate funding to Planned Parenthood for family planning and preventive health services.” Sixty (60) percent of women ages 18 to 49 found it “mostly or totally unacceptable” to “eliminate funding to Planned Parenthood for family planning and preventive health services.”
In response to these polls, Cecile Richards, President of Planned Parenthood Federatrion of America, said:
“It’s clear that Americans understand that the proposal to bar Planned Parenthood from receiving federal funds for preventive health care such as lifesaving cancer screenings, breast exams, birth control, and STD and HIV testing, would have a devastating impact on women’s health, lead to more unintended pregnancies and more women detecting cancers at a later and less treatable stage. American’s know this to be true, because one in five women has been cared for by a Planned Parenthood health center at some point in her lifetime.”
“In the nearly two weeks since the House voted to bar Planned Parenthood from any federal program,” she continued, “hundreds of thousands of Americans across the country have spoken out, called and e-mailed their members of Congress, told their personal stories online, and signed Planned Parenthood’s petition opposing that vote.”
“Americans, especially women, have risen to Planned Parenthood’s defense in an incredible and overwhelming way.”
Efforts to block this and other legislation aimed at undermining women’s health and rights continue across the country.