Texas politicians like U.S. Senator (and Republican presidential candidate) Ted Cruz have been leaders of the effort to — as they call it — “defund” Planned Parenthood because that organization provides abortion care services (although not with federal dollars). In other words, they want to end Medicaid and other government payments for reproductive health care services — like “well-woman” checkups, STD treatments, cancer screenings and birth control — that Planned Parenthood clinics provide to millions of women (and men) across the country.
Sen. Cruz and other religious-righters have even insisted that congressional Republicans should shut down the government rather than allow that health care funding to continue.
But a review of national polling shows they are seriously out of touch with the desires of most Americans on this issue. Most Americans strongly oppose cutting off funding for health care services at Planned Parenthood clinics. An even larger majority opposes shutting down the federal government as a means to that end. Here are some of the poll results:
Suffolk University/USA Today. Sept. 24-28, 2015. N=1,000 likely voters nationwide. Margin of error ± 3.
“Do you think all federal funding for Planned Parenthood should be cut off: yes or no?”
Refused to answer: 1%
“Should supporters of de-funding Planned Parenthood be willing to force a government shutdown over the issue, if it comes to that?”
Refused to answer: 1%
CBS News/New York Times Poll. Sept. 23-27, 2015. N=1,000 adults nationwide. Margin of error ± 4.
“Currently, the federal government provides some funding to Planned Parenthood. Do you think Planned Parenthood should or should not receive funding from the federal government?”
Should not: 36%
Unsure/No answer: 9%
NBC News/Wall Street Journal Poll conducted by Hart Research Associates (D) and Public Opinion Strategies (R). Sept. 20-24, 2015. N=1,000 adults nationwide. Margin of error ± 3.1.
“Would you favor or oppose totally eliminating federal funding to Planned Parenthood for family planning and preventative health services? … And, would you strongly or somewhat favor/oppose this?”
Strongly favor: 22%
Somewhat favor: 13%
Somewhat oppose: 17%
Strongly oppose: 44%
Despite these numbers, religious-right activists and their political friends like Sen. Cruz are still trying to shut down the government and sabotage the economy in order to strip funding from clinics that millions of women depend on for reproductive health care services. Frankly, that kind of agenda is a perfect example of “extremism.”