Third New Poll Finds Americans Oppose Tax-Funded Abortions in Health Care

National   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Sep 22, 2009   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Third New Poll Finds Americans Oppose Tax-Funded Abortions in Health Care

by Steven Ertelt Editor
September 22
, 2009

Washington, DC ( — The third poll in the last two weeks has found that Americans strongly oppose taxpayer funding of abortions in any health care reform legislation. The new poll, commissioned for the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, finds a high percentage of Americans oppose abortion funding.

The poll also asks a significant question not found in other polling data on abortion and health care — whether Americans oppose the use of private funds for abortions, which has been the defense from President Barack Obama and other abortion advocates of the abortion funding provisions.

Conducted by International Communications Research from September 16-20, the telephone survey found widespread public opposition to including abortion in health care reform.

The poll indicates 67 percent of those surveyed opposed requiring people to pay for abortion coverage through their taxes and 56 percent opposed making them do so through their insurance premiums.

The survey also asked: “If the choice were up to you, would you want your own insurance policy to include abortion?” Sixty-eight percent of U.S. adults said ‘No’ and only 24 percent said ‘Yes.’

The survey of 1,043 U.S. adults found 60 percent favor and just 30 percent oppose “efforts to pass health care reform to provide affordable health insurance for all.”

While support for health care is strong, 60 percent of those favoring health care reform efforts oppose “measures that would require people to pay for abortion coverage with their federal taxes" while just 25 percent back them.

By a 49-39 percent plurality, those who favor reform oppose “measures that would require people to pay for abortion coverage with their health insurance premiums" — the so-called private funds.

Among those favoring reform, those who favor maintaining “current federal laws that protect doctors and nurses from being forced to perform or refer for abortions against their will” outnumber those who oppose keeping such laws in place by a margin of two to one, 60 to 30 percent.

Deirdre McQuade, the Assistant Director for Policy & Communications at the USCCB’s Secretariat of Pro-Life Activities, told that members of Congress need to pay attention to the polling results.

“The USCCB survey confirms other recent polls conducted by Public Opinion Strategies (August 30-September 1) and Rasmussen Reports (September 14-15) on health care policy and abortion,” she said. “With each passing week it gets clearer: The American public generally does not want to pay for abortion coverage and does not want health care reform used to promote abortion."

“Abortion is not health care. The bishops of the United States are working hard to ensure that health care reform serves the most vulnerable among us – especially the poor, immigrants, and the unborn,” McQuade added.

Conducted by Public Opinion Strategies, a new poll released two weeks ago shows 43 percent of adult voters would be less likely to support a health care reform bill that funds abortions while just 8 percent would be more supportive.

The poll found voter intensity is strong with over one-third (36%) of voters saying they would be much less likely to support the plan.

Public Opinion Strategies found 58% of Americans disagree with the statement, “If the government is going to make a public health plan available for all Americans it has an obligation to provide abortion services under that plan.” Just 38 percent support it.

The analysis shows 80 percent of Republicans disagree, 60 percent of independents disagree and 39 percent of Democrats disagree.

And a more recent Rasmussen poll found a plurality of Americans don’t want abortion funding in the health care bills.

The survey showed 48% believe any government-subsidized health care plan should be prohibited from covering abortions. Just 13 percent want the health care bills to make it a requirement that abortions are funded.

The Rasmussen survey found no consensus for abortion funding even from Americans who favor the government-run health care plans pending in Congress while those who oppose the plans strongly oppose abortion funding.

International Communications Research, based in the Philadelphia suburb of Media, Pennsylvania, is a top-ranked and nationally recognized market research organization.

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