Most Americans oppose defunding Planned Parenthood

While anti-abortion activists are urging Congress to defund Planned Parenthood, a majority of Americans favor federal funding for the family planning provider, a series of recently released national polls show.

• According to a Quinnipiac University poll released Monday, 52 percent support federal funding for Planned Parenthood, compared with 41 percent who support defunding the organization.

• A New York Times/CBS News poll, also released Monday, found 55 percent of Americans favor federal funding for Planned Parenthood, while 36 percent do not.

• A Pew Research Center poll released the same day found 60 percent support federal funding for Planned Parenthood, versus 32 percent who want to eliminate such funding.

• An NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll released Sunday found 61 percent support the government funding Planned Parenthood, versus 35 percent who do not.

• And a USA Today/Suffolk University poll released Tuesday found 65 percent of Americans back government federal funding for Planned Parenthood for the group, while 29 percent said such funding should be cut off.

Planned Parenthood, which receives roughly $500 million in federal funds each year, has come under fire from some Republicans — including GOP presidential hopefuls Carly Fiorina and Texas Sen. Ted Cruz — over a series of controversial undercover videos, produced by the Center for Medical Progress, an anti-abortion group, that purport to show current and former Planned Parenthood officials discussing the harvesting and sale of aborted fetal tissue.

Anti-abortion activists hold a rally opposing federal funding for Planned Parenthood in front of the U.S. Capitol in July. (Photo: Olivier Douliery/AFP)

In August, a Reuters/Ipsos survey found that 44 percent of respondents who saw the videos said they now have a more negative view of Planned Parenthood, compared with 34 percent who said their views were unchanged.

But according to the new NBC/WSJ poll, Planned Parenthood’s favorable rating (47 percent favorable to 31 percent unfavorable) is actually up, albeit slightly, since the release of the videos in July, when 45 percent viewed the organization favorably, compared to 30 percent who did not.

Still, federal funding for Planned Parenthood continues to be a divisive partisan issue. According to the USA Today/Suffolk University poll, 91 percent of Democrats polled support government funding for the group, while 59 percent of Republicans want to defund Planned Parenthood. The Quinnipiac poll found 82 percent of Democrats support the federal funding, compared with 71 percent of Republicans who oppose it.

Yet according to the NBC/WSJ survey, more Americans have a favorable feeling about Planned Parenthood than they do about either political party.

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