Latest Rasmussen Poll Finds Majority Oppose Abortion Funding in Health Care Bill

National   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Jan 3, 2010   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Latest Rasmussen Poll Finds Majority Oppose Abortion Funding in Health Care Bill

by Steven Ertelt Editor
January 3
, 2010

Washington, DC ( — The latest Rasmussen Reports poll confirms a majority of Americans want a ban on abortion funding in any health care bill Congress may approve. When the House and Senate return from their Christmas break they will have to merge two different bills when it comes to forcing taxpayers to fund abortions.

Released today, the new Rasmussen survey indicates 53 percent of Americans favor a ban on abortion coverage in any health insurance plan that receives federal subsidies.

The poll finds just 40 percent of respondents are opposed to such a ban in the proposed health care legislation now before Congress.

The figures from the survey show voters who hold the most passionate feelings either way are more strongly opposed to funding with 39 percent saying they are strongly supportive of a ban on tax-funded abortions and just 26 percent opposed to such a ban.

Rasmussen indicates that members of Congress may find the only way to get the health care bill approved is to ensure an abortion funding ban is included.

"While most supporters of the plan oppose the abortion ban, that provision is difficult to drop because support for the overall legislation is already quite low. Just 39% of voters currently favor its passage, and public attitudes have hardened. Dropping the abortion provision might further erode support," the polling firm noted.

Of those who strongly support the health care bill in Congress, 55 percent oppose a ban on abortion funding but 65 percent of those who strongly oppose the bill favor an abortion funding ban. As evidence of the majority supporting a ban, a plurality of those who somewhat support the health care bill also want an abortion funding ban, at 47-40 percent.

"This dynamic is unique to the abortion issue. On every other part of the plan, there is more support among those who favor the overall legislation than among those who oppose it," Rasmussen explains.

Earlier polling on the abortion issue from Rasmussen, using a different question, found similar results. Just over half support the abortion ban, while 13% want mandatory coverage of abortion.

The new Rasmussen survey comes weeks after a new poll from Quinnipiac found a much larger percentage of Americans not wanting abortion funding in the health care bill.

Abortion funding drew strenuous opposition from the American public, regardless of political persuasion, with 72 percent saying they oppose "using any public money in the health care overhaul to pay for abortions" and just 23 percent saying they favor it.

The poll found Republicans oppose funding abortions in the health care bill an a 91-5 percent clip, Democrats oppose it 54-38 percent, and independents oppose it 74-23 percent.

A November survey by the Pew Research Center for the People & the Press and the Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life found a 55% majority of Americans say that abortion should not be included as a guaranteed medical benefit if the government health care reform plan passes.

That followed a CNN poll showing 61 percent of Americans saying abortion funding should not be included.

Conducted by International Communications Research from September 16-20, another poll showed 67 percent of those surveyed opposed requiring people to pay for abortion coverage through their taxes.

And a Public Opinion Strategies poll 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 new Rasmussen polling question on abortion funding was worded as follows:

Regardless of what they think of the overall plan, many people have different opinions on individual reform proposals. I am going to read you a list of items included in the proposed health care legislation. For each please let me know if you Strongly Favor, Somewhat Favor, Somewhat Oppose, or Strongly Oppose that proposal.

The plan would prohibit coverage of abortion by any insurance plan that receives federal government subsidies.

39% Strongly favor
14% Somewhat favor
14% Somewhat oppose
26% Strongly oppose
6% Not sure

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