Poll: 63 percent oppose defunding Planned Parenthood

Planned Parenthood, Abortion, Fetal Tissue
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Sixty-three percent of registered voters oppose cutting off federal funds to Planned Parenthood, according to a new poll commissioned by the organization. 

The poll, conducted by the Democratic firm Hart Research Associates, finds that along with 63 percent of voters overall who oppose defunding Planned Parenthood, 68 percent of independents also oppose the move. The poll finds that a “bare majority” of 53 percent of Republicans favor defunding, while 34 percent oppose the move. 

The survey finds that voters are more likely to vote for a candidate who supports funding Planned Parenthood over one calling to end funding, by a margin of 58 to 26 percent. 

The results come as part of Planned Parenthood seeks to defend itself against the Center for Medical Progress, an anti-abortion group that has stirred controversy by posting undercover videos about fetal tissue donation by Planned Parenthood. 

Planned Parenthood has also hired the public relations firm SKDKnickerbocker, which helped organize Tuesday’s conference call on the poll.

The undercover videos have spurred a new push among conservatives to cut off federal funding for Planned Parenthood. The Senate is likely to vote this week on a defunding measure.

But Planned Parenthood said the poll results show Republicans are only hurting themselves by going after the group.

The survey found finds by a margin of 52 percent to 25 percent that voters are more likely to believe Planned Parenthood than the video-makers on the claim that Planned Parenthood does not profit from fetal tissue donation. 

"Today's poll shows much of what we already knew: that defunding Planned Parenthood is a losing proposition not just for the millions of men and women who come through Planned Parenthood's doors every day, but also with voters who don't want to see their politicians focused on restricting lifesaving care,” Cecile Richards, the group’s president, said in a statement. 

Backers also zeroed in on women’s views in the poll, which found that 52 percent of women have positive feelings about the organization and 27 percent have negative feelings. 

“The renewed attacks on Planned Parenthood are likely to become a substantial political liability for Republicans, especially among women,” said Geoff Garin, president of Hart Research. 

The poll was conducted from July 23 to 26, among 800 registered voters. The first undercover video on Planned Parenthood was released on July 14.

The survey has a margin of error of plus or minus 3.5 percentage points.

- Updated at 2:57 p.m.