Analysis

Poll reveals United States increasingly pro-life, against taxpayer-funded abortion

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A new national poll find that a majority of Americans support shifting funding away from Planned Parenthood to community health centers that don’t do abortions.

A new national poll find that a majority of Americans support shifting funding away from Planned Parenthood to community health centers that don’t do abortions.
Robert Morris University (RMU) conducted an extensive poll to discover the pro-life climate in the nation, gender and class differences in pro-life views, attitudes on supporting Planned Parenthood funding, and amount of awareness of the existence of the undercover videos.

 The survey, conducted October 10-15, 2015, in the aftermath of  the Planned Parenthood videos and in the midst of the Congressional budget debate, polled 1000 people, and had a margin of error of +/- 3 percent; it revealed some striking results:
All respondents were asked which of three positions on abortion best reflected their own personal view:
• 21.1 percent responded as “pro-life” and opposed to all abortions.
• 32.4 percent responded as opposed to abortions except for the exceptions of rape, incest and the mother’s health
• 38.9 percent identified themselves as pro-choice.
Age differences abounded: “44.6% of seniors identified as pro-choice, but only 29.2% of those under 45.” And these views seem to be reflected across socioeconomic lines too. The analysis reports:

“Rich people are pro-choice; it’s a clear division”:

Of those in a household which earns over  $100,000 a year, 54/98 identify as “pro-choice,” or 55.1%

Of those in a household which earns under $100,000 per year, 315/853 identify as “pro-choice,” or 36.92%

Of those in households earning over $100,000 a year, 33/98 or 33.6% of respondents wanted to give Planned Parenthood funds to perform abortions

Of those in households earning under $100,000 a year, only 253/853 or 29.66% of respondents wanted to give Planned Parenthood funds to perform abortions

A strong contingent of Democrats want tax dollars to fund abortions specifically:

• 17.4% of Republicans
• 43.4% of Democrats
• 30.8% of Independents
The poll authors conclude:
So about half of Democrat respondents venturing an opinion want taxpayer-funded abortions
This is “pro-choice” in the sense of “abortion is a good thing” and therefore should be government funded (30.5% of all respondents think this)
The results of this poll are more accurate than some polls reported by the media. According to a news release:

Previous polling on the issue of funding Planned Parenthood has shown majority support for government funding of Planned Parenthood. But the RMU poll, conducted before a gunman killed three people at a Planned Parenthood clinic in Colorado, has a very different result: 53.3 percent support defunding Planned Parenthood, while 31.5 percent oppose it.

The poll asked respondents if they would support or oppose a plan by U.S. Congressional Republicans to shift Planned Parenthood funds to community clinics that perform the same services but do not perform abortions. Just over half, 53.3 percent, strongly or somewhat support the plan while 31.5 percent are strongly or somewhat opposed.

Philip Harold, RMU professor of political science, said RMU’s polls shows different results than other national polls because the question is worded more clearly. Instead of simply asking, “Do you think all federal funding for Planned Parenthood should be cut off?,” the RMU poll asked instead: “Congressional Republicans favor shifting Planned Parenthood federal funds to community clinics that perform the same services, but do not perform abortions. Would you say you support or oppose this plan?”

Other results from the poll include information on the public’s knowledge of the undercover Planned Parenthood videos. Awareness is rising, the poll revealed:

Respondents in the RMU poll were asked how aware they were of undercover videos of top Planned Parenthood officials describing the harvesting of organs of fetuses and selling them for a profit. Nearly two-thirds, 63.3 percent, suggested they were very or somewhat aware… this is higher than other polls done in the early fall, suggesting that more and more people have heard about the videos in the intervening months.
This awareness then appears to correlate with the budget plan by Congressional Republicans:
As awareness of the videos goes up, so does support for the Congressional Republicans’ plan. Those who indicate they are very aware (60 percent) were more likely to support the plan than those who said they were somewhat aware (54.3 percent) and somewhat unaware (41.7 percent).
RMU Professor of Political Science Philip Harold said, “This means that Republicans in Congress might have an incentive to make this a bigger issue,” said Harold.
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