Two years ago, Texas lawmakers openly declared “war on birth control” (those were their own words), slashing funding and putting in place additional obstacles for family planning services for low-income women. This year politicians at the state and national level want to let bosses deny, because of their own religious or moral objections, coverage for birth control in health insurance for their employees. The personal beliefs and health needs of their employees and their families would mean nothing.
Politicians who back these radical policies haven’t bothered to ask Texans what they think about limiting access to family planning services and birth control. But today the Texas Freedom Network Education Fund, our research organization, released the results of our new statewide poll that does ask Texans what they think. You can click the “Share” buttons above to help spread the news about this important poll and to let politicians know that Texans want them to stop interfering with the private decisions women make about their own health and when they will have children.
Our press release is below:
POLL: BROAD SUPPORT IN TEXAS FOR STATE-FUNDED FAMILY PLANNING SERVICES, WOMEN’S ACCESS TO BIRTH CONTROL
Statewide Survey Finds Strong Opposition to Family Planning Cuts, Employer Limits on Birth Control Access
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
February 19, 2013
Texans overwhelmingly see women’s access to family planning and birth control as important and support state funding for low-income women seeking those services, a new statewide poll from the Texas Freedom Network Education Fund shows.
According to the poll, majorities also oppose the deep funding cuts made by state lawmakers to family planning programs in 2011 or allowing bosses to deny their workers health care coverage for birth control.
“Politicians who want to interfere with the freedom of women to make decisions about their own health and when they will have children are clearly out of step with the majority of Texans,” TFN President Kathy Miller said. “Most Texans want the Legislature to provide adequate funding for family planning programs and ensure broad availability of birth control, especially for low-income women.”
Democratic pollster Anna Greenberg in Washington, D.C., and Republican pollster Bob Carpenter in Maryland conducted the Feb. 6-11 telephone survey of registered voters in Texas. The poll report is available here.
By a margin of 68-30 percent, registered voters believe access to family planning and birth control for women, regardless of their income, is extremely or very important. In addition, they support – by 73-24 percent – state funding for family planning services, including birth control, for low-income women.
Moreover, Texas voters oppose the deep cuts to funding for family planning programs made by the Legislature in 2011, 57-38 percent. And by 56-40 percent, they say a boss should not be allowed to deny employees health care coverage for birth control because it violates the employer’s religious or moral beliefs.
The poll shows that support for state funding and for access to family planning services and birth control for all women, including low-income women, is both broad and deep, crossing political, racial, generational and geographic lines.
Democrats, African Americans and Hispanics are among the strongest supporters on both questions. But support is also strong among whites overall, Republican women, Catholics and “born-again” Christians.
Support from such a broad array of constituencies – especially the state’s rapidly growing Hispanic population – for all women’s access to family planning services and birth control should serve as a warning to politicians in Austin, Miller said.
“During the last legislative session, some lawmakers openly declared that they wanted a war on birth control and made access to family planning services even harder for women,” Miller said. “But most Texans clearly think broad access to family planning services and birth control is common sense. They’re tired of seeing women’s health care turned into a political battlefield.”
The Texas Freedom Network Education Fund is a nonpartisan research organization that supports religious freedom, individual liberties and public education.
Some Key Numbers from the Poll
How important is it to you that Texas women have access to family planning and birth control, regardless of income? (Numbers are rounded.)
Little/Not at all 30%
Extremely important 36%
Very important 32%
Just a little important 16%
Not important at all 13%
Don’t know/refused 3%
Do you favor or oppose providing state-funded family planning services, including birth control, for low-income women? (Numbers are rounded.)
Strongly/Somewhat favor 73%
Somewhat/strongly oppose 25%
Strongly favor 48%
Somewhat favor 25%
Somewhat oppose 6%
Strongly oppose 20%
You might be surprised who supports state funding for birth control for low-income women in Texas.
77% of Hispanics
69% of Republican women
70% of Catholics
85% of young people
66% of born-again Christians
Hispanic Texans support birth control.
79% favor making it accessible to all women
77% support state funding to make it accessible
63% oppose the 2011 state cuts to family planning budgets
70% oppose excluding birth control from insurance coverage
Source: Survey of 604 registered Texas voters, Feb 6-11, 2013, margin of error: +/- 3.99 percentage points, Greenberg Quinlan Rosner Research and Chesapeake Beach Consulting