Including majority of Republicans
Washington, DC- Today, a new Kaiser Family Foundation (KFF) poll shows that 75% of Americans, including majorities of both Republican women and Republican men, support federal Medicaid reimbursement for Planned Parenthood to provide services such as contraception, testing and treatment for sexually transmitted diseases, and cancer screenings.
Statement from Dawn Laguens, Executive Vice President of Planned Parenthood Federation of America
“This is the latest poll that confirms what millions of Planned Parenthood patients already know: Basic health care shouldn't get caught up in congressional Republicans' extreme agenda.
“We’ve made tremendous gains in this country, including a 30-year low in unintended pregnancies and a historic low in teen pregnancies, thanks to expanded access to reproductive health care and birth control. Now is not the time to roll back that progress.
“The vast majority of Americans support Planned Parenthood and understand that essential preventive health care should be available to anyone, regardless of how much money they make or where they live.”
This Kaiser poll follows 19 other national polls that all show overwhelming support for Planned Parenthood.
The poll also highlights that more than 1 in 3 women (35%) and 1 in 4 (24%) of all people have “visited a Planned Parenthood clinic for health services.” (Q33)
When told that the proposed bill to repeal the Affordable Care Act and block patients who use Medicaid from accessing care at Planned Parenthood would make it harder for low-income patients to access preventive services including cancer screenings and birth control, 7% of respondents who originally opposed continuing Medicaid reimbursements changed their answer to support Planned Parenthood.
The Kaiser poll also reveals that at least two-thirds of Americans report being aware of the range of services Planned Parenthood provides, “including contraception (87%), testing and treatment for sexually transmitted diseases (80%), cancer screenings and preventive services (68%), and abortion (68%).” But only one-third of the people polled knew about the Hyde amendment, a law Planned Parenthood opposes but follows, which prohibits the use of federal funds for abortion except in rare cases.
Key findings from the Kaiser poll:
“Three-quarters of the public support continuing current federal Medicaid funding to Planned Parenthood to pay for non-abortion services received by people on Medicaid, while 22 percent support cutting off all federal funding to the group. Majorities of both Republican women and Republican men support continuing current funding.”
“... [M]ajorities across groups, including just over half of Republican men (55 percent) and Republican women (57 percent) say that the federal government should continue to pay Planned Parenthood for non-abortion services received by people on Medicaid.”
“Americans’ attitudes towards federal payments to Planned Parenthood through the Medicaid program are largely stable, with few being persuaded from their opinions after hearing arguments for and against continued funding. Among those who think all federal Medicaid payments to Planned Parenthood should be stopped, about one-third (7 percent of the public overall) change their mind after hearing that this would make it difficult for many lower-income women to access certain health services, including treatment for sexually transmitted infections, cancer screenings, and birth control.”
“While the Hyde Amendment currently prohibits federal Medicaid funds from being used to pay for abortions, just one-third (33 percent) of the public is aware of this ban, while almost half (45 percent) say there is not a ban and one in five (21 percent) say they don’t know.”
“Republicans are less likely than Democrats to be aware that there is a ban on federal funds being used to pay for abortions. One-quarter of Republican women (25 percent) and Republican men (26 percent) are aware of the ban, compared with about four in ten women and about a third of men who identify as Democrats and independents.”
The Facts on "Defunding" Planned Parenthood
FACT: The term “defunding” Planned Parenthood is a misnomer. There is no blank check that Planned Parenthood gets from the federal government, and it’s not a line item in the federal budget. Instead, this type of legislation would prevent millions of women who rely on Medicaid and/or other federal programs from accessing the health care provider that’s been there for them for decades. Federal law already blocks federal funding from going to abortion services. This legislation instead blocks people from accessing cancer screenings, birth control, HIV and STI testing, and other preventive and essential care at Planned Parenthood health centers.
FACT: Blocking access to Planned Parenthood is deeply unpopular. According to an independent poll released in January, 70% of American voters oppose blocking patients from accessing Planned Parenthood – including 50% of Trump voters. a February 2017 Des Moines Register/Mediacom Iowa Poll showed 77% of Iowans back funding for Planned Parenthood’s preventive care, including 62% of Republicans and 62% of evangelical Christians. This goes along with19 national polls that all show overwhelming support for Planned Parenthood.
FACT: Blocking access to Planned Parenthood hurts people in communities who are struggling to get by the most – especially those with low incomes and those living in areas with no other quality health care providers. This disproportionately impacts people who already face structural barriers to accessing care including people of color, immigrants, young people, and members of the LGBTQ community – with those whose identities overlap facing multiple barriers.
FACT: Support for Roe v. Wade is at the highest it’s ever been, with7 out of 10 Americans saying they believe a woman should have the right to safe, legal abortion.
FACT: Other providers cannot just absorb Planned Parenthood’s patient base if it is cut off from federal programs. Politicians who want to deny patients using Medicaid from going to Planned Parenthood often insist that other providers will fill the gap, but the experts at the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists and the National Partnership for Women and Families said it flat out:They can't. Even the executive director of the American Public Health Association has called such claims “ludicrous."
FACT: Legislation denying access to care at Planned Parenthood was a health disaster in Texas. Two Texas public health investigators wrote in the Washington Post that when Texas passed legislation it was devastating – and shouldn't be repeated in the rest of the country. A significant number of women also lost or had reduced access to primary care providers as a consequence of limiting patient options.
FACT: When lawmakers in Louisiana, Ohio, andFlorida tried to block access to Planned Parenthood in the past, they suggested women could go to “alternative” providers for reproductive health care, including dentists, food banks, nursing homes, ENTs, elementary schools, rehabs, and retirement homes.
FACT: Fifty-four percent of Planned Parenthood health centers are in health professional shortage areas, rural or medically underserved areas. Planned Parenthood health centers provide preventive health care to many who otherwise would have nowhere to turn for care.
FACT: Although Planned Parenthood health centers comprised 10% of the country’s safety-net centers that offered family planning care in 2010, they served 36% of patients served by such centers. In 21 percent of counties with a Planned Parenthood health center, Planned Parenthood was the only safety-net family planning provider; and in 68 percent of counties with a Planned Parenthood health center, Planned Parenthood served at least half of all safety-net family planning patients.
Planned Parenthood is the nation’s leading provider and advocate of high-quality, affordable health care for women, men, and young people, as well as the nation’s largest provider of sex education. With over 650 health centers across the country, Planned Parenthood organizations serve all patients with care and compassion, with respect and without judgment. Through health centers, programs in schools and communities, and online resources, Planned Parenthood is a trusted source of reliable health information that allows people to make informed health decisions. We do all this because we care passionately about helping people lead healthier lives.
Planned Parenthood Federation of America media office: 212-261-4433
March 15, 2017