Poll: Majority oppose Trump administration restrictions on abortion funding

Poll: Majority oppose Trump administration restrictions on abortion funding

Seven in 10 people are concerned the Trump administration’s new family planning rules will limit women’s access to care, according to a new poll from the Kaiser Family Foundation.

The poll found that 58 percent of respondents, including 48 percent of Republicans, oppose barring federal funding from clinics that provide abortions or referrals for abortions.

In addition, the poll found 69 percent of respondents said they would like their state to continue making payments to Planned Parenthood amid attempts by conservatives in a number of states to defund the clinics.

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Those views were split along partisan lines, with 86 percent of Democrats wanting Planned Parenthood payments to continue and 57 percent of Republicans wanting those payments to stop.

The poll examined the attitudes of 1,200 people toward the administration’s changes to the Title X program, which funds nearly 4,000 clinics nationally to pay for contraception and other preventive services to lower-income women. It had a margin of error of plus or minus 3 percentage points. 

Under new changes to the program, women's health clinics must be “physically and financially” separate from abortion providers to be eligible for Title X grants. Clinics will also not be allowed to refer women to other facilities for abortions or to promote or support abortion as a method of family planning.

The regulations were initially set to take effect Friday, but have been blocked by federal judges.

The changes had been pushed by conservatives and anti-abortion groups as a way to partially defund Planned Parenthood, which serves about 40 percent of Title X patients.

The changes to Title X opened the door for faith-based groups to participate in the program. In late March, the administration announced it would award a $1.7 million grant to chain of crisis pregnancy centers that oppose abortion and don’t offer contraceptives.

According to the Kaiser poll, a majority of the public opposes allowing federal family planning funds to go to organizations that either only counsel about natural family planning methods, don’t counsel pregnant women and girls about all of their options including prenatal care, adoption and abortion, or do not provide contraception or birth control. Most women, including most women aged 18 to 44, oppose funding such organizations.

The poll also found the majority of the respondents opposed the administration’s expansion of the “Mexico City policy” that prevents U.S. global family planning funding from going to foreign organizations that perform or promote abortion, even when they use separate sources of funding.

As with other abortion-related issues, views of the Mexico City policy vary along partisan lines. Nearly two-thirds of Republicans support the expanded restrictions, while 73 percent of Democrats and 55 percent of independents said they oppose it.