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Elections & Politics

New Polling in Battleground Senate States Shows Birth Control Debate Helps Pro-Women’s Health Candidates

Contact: Planned Parenthood Action Fund Media Office, 212-261-4433

For Immediate Release: 03.08.12

Hurts Candidates Who Join in Attacks Against Women’s Health and Privacy

WASHINGTON D.C. – A new national poll of battleground Senate states shows that the assault on women’s access to birth control that Republicans have waged in congress and through their mouthpieces on the airwaves has provided a significant boost to Democratic candidates who support birth control access.

Read the full poll memo HERE.

Among the poll’s findings:

  • Nearly half of all voters say that if their member of congress supported the Blunt Amendment to allow employers to refuse coverage, it would make them less likely to support him or her. This perspective isn’t limited to Democratic voters; 53 percent of Independents and 40 percent of Republican voters will be less likely to vote for a candidate who has supported the Blunt amendment.  259 members of the House and Senate sponsored measures related to the Blunt effort in some form.
  • A near consensus exists that women should have access to birth control, that insurers should cover it, and that the decision to use birth control is a private one.
  • Voters decisively object to a wide range of attacks on women’s health care, and strongly continue to support Planned Parenthood – nearly two thirds (63 percent) of all voters oppose prohibiting Planned Parenthood from receiving federal funds to pay for birth control, maternity care, and cancer screenings; almost the same amount (61 percent) continue to oppose limiting federal funding to Planned Parenthood when it is specified that some Planned Parenthood clinics perform abortions.

Stephanie Schriock, president of EMILY’s List, said “Voters throughout this country are soundly rejecting the right-wing agenda of Republicans, from the vile attacks of Rush Limbaugh to the freedom-limiting assault on healthcare pushed by Republicans like Roy Blunt, Scott Brown, Dean Heller, and their allies in the House and Senate.  Voters are looking to support candidates who stand strong on issues like access to birth control and who will focus on getting things done for women and their families, not wage war on basic health care and the freedoms women deserve. Thankfully, EMILY’s List is supporting a record number of women candidates for Senate, and an ever-growing field of House candidates, who will defeat the Republicans who supported Blunt and will work to expand opportunity and stability for women and families, not limit it.”

Cecile Richards, president of Planned Parenthood Action Fund, said, “Americans support the contraceptive coverage benefit because birth control is basic health care, and is fundamental to improving women’s health and the health of their families. Birth control opponents are far out of touch with the health care needs of women in this country.”

The poll was conducted by Greenberg Quinlan Rosner on behalf of Planned Parenthood Action Fund and EMILY's List . It was conducted between February 27 and March 1, 2012, among 800 likely battleground voters in Florida, Massachusetts, Missouri, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin. It has a margin of error of +/-3.46 percent.

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Planned Parenthood Action Fund is an independent, nonpartisan, not-for-profit membership organization formed as the advocacy and political arm of Planned Parenthood Federation of America. The Action Fund engages in educational and electoral activity, including voter education, grassroots organizing, and legislative advocacy.