Planned Parenthood Poll Misleads on Taxpayer Funding for Abortion

Michael J. New, Ph.D.  

Contrary to the purported findings of a misleading Planned Parenthood-commissioned poll, a majority of Americans oppose taxpayer-funded abortion, writes Dr. Michael New at the New Boston Post:

This summer, a coalition of center-right groups launched a signature drive to try to make it possible to stop taxpayer funding of abortion in Massachusetts. In response, the Planned Parenthood Advocacy Fund of Massachusetts commissioned a misleading poll which purportedly shows strong public support for government funding of abortion among Bay State residents. This poll has been favorably covered by a number of local media outlets including the WorcesterTelegram & Gazette and the Fitchburg Sentinel & Enterprise. (The Telegram & Gazette apparently liked the State House News Service wire story so much, they ran it twice.)


The main problem with the Planned Parenthood poll is the wording:  it asks about helping low-income women access abortion instead of asking about taxpayer funding for abortion. Indeed, other polls with more precise wording consistently show that majorities oppose having their taxpayer dollars pay for elective abortions. For instance, a 2016 poll conducted by Politico and the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health showed that 58 percent of likely voters oppose taxpayer funding of abortion.


Additionally, four consecutive surveys conducted by the Marist Poll have all found that over 60 percent of Americans oppose having taxpayer dollars fund abortion. Opposition to taxpayer funding of abortion is strong among a range of demographic groups. For instance, the 2016 poll found that over 60 percent of African-Americans, Hispanics, and independents all oppose taxpayer funding of abortion.

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