A new poll finds the majority of Americans favor a plan backed by Republicans to eliminate Planned Parenthood’s taxpayer funding and redirect that funding to other clinics that do not perform abortions.
A nationwide poll by Robert Morris University (RMU) finds 53.3 percent of participants say Planned Parenthood should have its government funding stripped, while 31.5 percent oppose defunding.
The poll, which sampled the opinions of 1,000 online surveys across the nation, specifically asked respondents whether they would support or oppose a plan by Republicans to shift Planned Parenthood’s taxpayer funding to other community clinics that do not perform abortions.
Phillip Harold, RMU professor of political science observes the poll’s findings are different from other polls that have appeared with frequency in the media lately that indicate the majority of Americans do not favor defunding the nation’s largest abortion provider. He asserts the difference between the polls lies in the wording of the question.
A recent USA Today/Suffolk University poll, for example, found that 58 percent of respondents said Planned Parenthood’s taxpayer funding should not be eliminated, as opposed to 33 percent who said it should. These results were hyped by media such as TIME and Cosmopolitan, and USA Today said the findings of its poll “underscore the political risks on the issue for Republican candidates, particularly for senators up for re-election next year in swing states…”
The USA Today poll, however, asked only, “Do you think all federal funding for Planned Parenthood should be cut off?” while the RMU poll asked, “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?”
“One of the cardinal rules in polling is to clearly indicate the alternative in the question and a poll question that doesn’t do this is flawed,” Harold said in a press release. “Because the wording of this poll reflects the actual proposal, it is more accurate.”
According to MRC, Harold further asserted that while media had access to the poll results, they chose not to report on it.
“Press releases were sent to national reporters and was posted on PR Newswire,” he said. “In the past, results from the RMU Polling Institute have gotten traction on political topics but not this time.”
Harold referred to the poll results as “astonishing” specifically due to the fact that the question in the survey observed the plan of redirecting Planned Parenthood’s funds as one espoused by “Congressional Republicans.”