Over 60 members of Congress and numerous other organizations are calling on Congress to defund Planned Parenthood of the over $500 million in taxpayer funding it receives each year.
The members want to redirect those taxpayer dollars for women’s health care to over 13,000 local health centers that are better poised to provide comprehensive women’s care.
According to a recent survey conducted by the American Perceptions Initiative, a project of The Heritage Foundation, 77 percent of Americans believe that government should not be in the business of funding organizations that harvest and sell baby parts from aborted children.
The survey of over 1,000 voters was conducted August 24-27, 2015.
The nation’s largest abortion provider is embroiled in controversy after the release of undercover videos exposing what appears to be Planned Parenthood’s practice of selling aborted babies and baby parts for profit.
The organization is under investigation at the federal and state level since the sale of human fetal tissue is illegal and a federal felony.
But surprisingly, after the release of numerous videos, only 53 percent of Americans have heard, read, or seen anything about them. But of those who have heard, read, or seen anything, a majority (5:1 ratio) say they are more negative toward Planned Parenthood.
In fact, exposure to information about the videos and messaging dramatically impacts the organization’s overall favorability among voters, which fell by 15 points at the end of the survey.
Most Americans have limited familiarity with Planned Parenthood, and just over half initially had a favorable view of the organization. But after exposure to information about Planned Parenthood’s abortion practices and sales of aborted baby tissue, voters’ views shifted dramatically.
The shift in perception among most Americans confirms what many in Congress believe to be true: that taxpayers should not be in the business of funding private organizations in the business of providing abortions and selling baby parts.
Americans viewed Planned Parenthood’s practice of harvesting and selling aborted baby parts most negatively (78 percent – 83 percent).
But, the fight over Planned Parenthood’s taxpayer funding could bring another standoff to Congress during the legislative process that will fund the government. American voters overwhelmingly agreed (72 percent) that “taxpayer dollars would be better spent by directing the $500 million that goes to Planned Parenthood to the more than 13,000 health centers and hospitals providing comprehensive women’s care.”
Messaging that affirmed continuing support for women’s health care received the highest levels of support. For example, 8 in 10 voters agree that “women should have access to the best, most comprehensive care possible, but funding should go to the best centers and hospitals around the country, not those that are the most politically connected and protected.”
Equally important are the tens of thousands of local community health centers that stand as alternatives to Planned Parenthood’s 665 centers. Messaging that highlighted the proportion of these local health centers as alternatives for comprehensive women’s care performed best.
As conservatives continue to make the case for defunding Planned Parenthood, drawing attention to the organization’s abortions and sales of aborted baby tissue while highlighting the commitment to women’s health care will help build their case among the American people.