New Polls Show Widespread Opposition to Trump’s Title X Gag Rule, Consequences for Legislators that Support it
For Immediate Release: Sept. 13, 2019
Voters in Arizona, Colorado, key swing districts want their members of Congress to stand up to these restrictions and vote to protect access to health care
WASHINGTON - New polling released today shows that voters in Arizona, Colorado and key swing Congressional districts nationwide oppose the Trump administration’s Title X gag rule, and are less likely to support legislators that don’t act to block it. The polling shows that 57 percent of swing district voters oppose the unethical gag rule, including 55 percent of independents and 61 percent of suburban women, with similar results among Colorado and Arizona voters. By a 40-point margin — 61 percent to 21 percent — swing district voters express support for the House-passed bill that would block the Trump administration’s changes.
This comes as Sen. Richard Shelby (R-AL), chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee, abruptly cancelled a scheduled vote on the Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies (LHHS) subcommittee’s spending bill, after learning that Ranking Member Patty Murray (D-WA) planned to ask for a vote to block the gag rule.
Statement from Jacqueline Ayers, Vice President of Government Relations and Public Policy, Planned Parenthood Action Fund:
“It’s no wonder that Senate Republican leadership is desperately trying to avoid taking a vote on Title X protections. Senators McConnell and Shelby know what this new polling confirms: The Trump administration’s gag rule is harmful, unethical, and voters are disgusted with senators who support it.”
The polls were conducted by Hart Research Associates, and among other findings, show:
- Voters want legislators to oppose the gag rule.
- By a 40-point margin, voters say that if Sen. Cory Gardner (R-CO) voted to uphold the Trump administration’s Title X restrictions, they would be "less likely to support him in the next election" (60 percent), rather than "more likely to support him in the next election" (20 percent).
- By a 24-point margin, voters say that if Sen. Martha McSally (R-AZ) voted to uphold the Trump administration’s Title X restrictions, they would be "less likely to support her in the next election" (54 percent), rather than "more likely to support her in the next election" (30 percent).
- The poll shows that Democrats currently hold a nine-point advantage in swing House districts overall. However, when the voters know where the legislators stand on the gag rule, the advantage for Democrats that oppose the gag rule grows considerably to 27 points.
- This issue is a clear electoral liability for Republicans that support Trump’s gag rule.
- Even in swing districts held by Republicans, where the incumbent starts with a three-point advantage, that lead turns into a double-digit deficit when voters know where politicians stand on Title X. Republicans in support of the Trump administration’s new restrictions on Title X lose a net 16 points, from +3 Republican to +13 Democrat.
- Lawmakers who support the Trump administration’s Title X restrictions are seen as being out-of-step with voters, confirming what voters already believe about Republican leaders being out of touch with issues important to women.
- By a 22-point margin — 61 percent to 39 percent — voters in swing districts say that the Republican Party is “out of step,” rather than “in step” with their positions and policies on women’s reproductive healthcare. That margin is 30 points among Colorado voters, with 65 percent saying the GOP is out of step with issues important to women.
- The polling shows more than two in three voters — disproportionately suburban women voters — support the Title X program, which has provided affordable birth control and reproductive health care for nearly 50 years. On August 19, Planned Parenthood Federation of America announced that the Trump administration had forced Planned Parenthood grantees out of Title X, the nation’s decades-old bipartisan program for affordable birth control and reproductive health care, through an unethical gag rule. Planned Parenthood health centers have been a part of the program since it was created nearly 50 years ago, and have been the largest provider, serving 40 percent of all patients who get care through the Title X program.
The full polling memo of 57 swing districts is available here. The polling memo of Arizona voters is here, and the Colorado memo is here.
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 more than 600 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.