New Poll Makes It Clear What Americans Think About Defunding Planned Parenthood


Ever since the release of the deceptive “sting” videos produced by the Center For Medical Progress (CMP), Republicans have been threatening to defund Planned Parenthood. Leading the fight in Congress is, of course, Texas’s Canadian-born senator, Rafael “Ted” Cruz. Now Cruz and his allies want to shut down the government over Planned Parenthood funding, but a brand new poll says that the public has little stomach for Cruz’s fight.

The CNN/ORC poll, conducted between September 4-8, asked 1,012 American adults this question: “Which do think is more important for Congress to do — Approving a budget agreement that would avoid a government shutdown OR eliminating all federal funding for Planned Parenthood?”

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An overwhelming majority of respondents, 71 percent, said that Congress should reach an agreement on the budget and avoid a shutdown. Only 22 percent said they thought that defunding Planned Parenthood was Congress’ most important task. An additional five percent volunteered that they would like to see Planned Parenthood defunded, but without a government shutdown.

This comes on the heels of Cruz telling reporters in St. Louis that if there is a government shutdown, it will be President Obama’s fault. According to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Cruz called Planned Parenthood a “criminal enterprise,” despite the fact that several states have investigated the organization, and found no wrongdoing. Cruz also had this to say:

What Barack Obama is doing for Planned Parenthood is radical, it’s extreme, it’s unreasonable . . . It’s wrong for Barack Obama to threaten to shut down the government.

Cruz and any other Republicans who think that shutting down the government in order to defund Planned Parenthood is a good idea, had better remember what happened in 2013. Republicans shut down the government and despite trying to pin the blame on the president, an Associated Press poll found that Americans overwhelmingly blamed the GOP. Given the results of this CNN poll, another shutdown would almost certainly find the public angry at Republicans again.

This poll couldn’t be clearer. Every demographic group in the survey said that getting a budget agreement without a shutdown, was more important than defunding Planned Parenthood. It was only close among those who identified as Republicans, conservatives and Tea Party supporters. Respondents across all regions of the country were also in agreement: no government shutdown.

It’s likely that Cruz and other Tea Party Republicans, such as Representative Mick Mulvaney — who is pushing the issue in the House — will not win their battle, as their leadership appears to have little desire to wage this fight. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said, according to Fox Newsthat he doesn’t have the votes to force the Planned Parenthood issue and the president would only veto it anyway if he could get it through the Senate.

Featured image via Fibonacci Blue/Flickr

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