Even the liberal Washington Post is not letting Democrat lawmakers get away with the false claim that Americans support taxpayer-funded abortions.
This week, the newspaper corrected U.S. Rep. Pramila Jayapal, a pro-abortion Democrat from Washington state, by citing several polls that show strong public opposition to taxpayer-funded abortions.
In an Oct. 3 interview with CNN, Jayapal defended Democrat leaders’ plans to get rid of the Hyde Amendment and other limits on taxpayer-funded abortions in federal spending bills.
“The Hyde Amendment is something that the majority of the country does not support,” Jayapal told CNN.
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The Hyde Amendment prohibits taxpayer funding for most abortions in Medicaid and other federal programs. It is credited with saving about 2.5 million babies from abortion in the past four decades.
Until very recently, the Hyde Amendment had strong bipartisan support in Congress, but Democrat leaders, many of whom receive huge campaign donations from the abortion industry, and President Joe Biden now want to force taxpayers to pay for abortions.
The public, however, remains opposed to their radical pro-abortion plan, something The Washington Post fact check confirmed.
It noted that Jayapal based her claim on a biased poll commissioned by a pro-abortion group, All Above All, which is lobbying for taxpayer-funded abortions. The Washington Post pointed out that the group asked the poll question to get a favorable response by including “’pregnancy-related healthcare’ with abortion as an afterthought.”
In contrast, the fact check cited four independent polls showing that Americans oppose taxpayer-funded abortions. These include:
- 2018 PRRI poll: “In your view, should government health insurance programs for low-income women, like Medicaid, cover abortion, or not?” Yes: 46 percent. No: 51 percent.
- 2016 YouGov poll: “The Hyde Amendment prohibits federal funds from being used to fund abortions, except in the case of incest, rape or to save the life of the mother. Do you support or oppose the Hyde Amendment?” Support: 55 percent. Oppose: 29 percent.
- 2016 Politico/Harvard poll: “Medicaid is the largest government program that pays for health care for low income people. Currently the federal government prohibits the use of federal funds to pay for abortions under Medicaid? Do you favor or oppose changing this policy to allow Medicaid funds to be used to pay for abortions?” Favor: 36 percent. Oppose: 58 percent.
- 2014 CNN-ORC poll: “Generally speaking, are you in favor of using public funds for abortions when the woman cannot afford it, or are you opposed to that?” Favor: 39 percent. Oppose: 56 percent.
The newspaper mentioned two other polls with different results, but it noted that one was worded in a very confusing way.
The other, a 2021 Ipsos poll, showed the Washington Post’s own bias when the fact checker described its question as “straightforward” and argued that attitudes on the issue may be shifting. But the poll asked, “Do you support or oppose Medicaid insurance covering abortion?” a question that does not make it clear that taxpayers would be paying for those abortions.
Another 2021 poll from Marist, which the Post did not mention, found that 58 percent of Americans oppose using tax dollars to pay for abortions in the U.S. and 77 percent oppose using tax dollars to pay for abortions in other countries. The results are more consistent with past polling on the issue. Previous Marist polls also have found strong public opposition to abortions, including in 2016 and 2019.
The newspaper gave Jayapal “Two Pinocchios” for her comment, a rating that means a “significant omission and/or exaggeration” likely with “some factual error.”
Since 1976, the Hyde Amendment has saved an estimated 2.5 million babies’ lives, including about 60,000 each year, according to the Charlotte Lozier Institute. Prior to the amendment, in the 1970s, Americans paid for about 300,000 unborn babies’ abortion deaths each year, according to a report from the Family Research Council.