Photo credit: Quinn Dombrowski via Flickr (CC BY-SA 2.0)

New Poll: Majority of Voters Oppose Taxpayer-Funded Abortions


Photo credit: Quinn Dombrowski via Flickr (CC BY-SA 2.0)
Photo credit: Quinn Dombrowski via Flickr (CC BY-SA 2.0)

Politico and the Harvard School of Public Health teamed up last month to conduct a poll of voters on issues related to healthcare. Among the topics included in the survey was the Hyde Amendment and whether the federal government should allow taxpayer money to go toward funding abortion.

Here was the full wording of the question:

Medicaid is the largest government program that pays for health care for low-income people. Currently the federal government prohibits the use of federal funds to pay for abortions under Medicaid. Do you favor or oppose changing this policy in order to allow Medicaid funds to be used to pay for abortions?

Notice that the words “Hyde Amendment” and “taxpayer” were not used in the question. One might have expected, given the choice of wording, that the results would be less than favorable for upholding Hyde.

However, the opposite actually turned out to be the case. Among all respondents, 58 percent said they would oppose Medicaid funding being used to pay for abortions, while only 36 percent said they would support it. Predictably, responses lined up somewhat reliably along party lines — the split was 57 percent support versus 36 percent oppose for Hillary Clinton voters, and 19 percent support versus 77 percent oppose for Donald Trump voters.

Even more interesting, though, was this additional detail provided by the report:

On this question, women are slightly more supportive than men of abortion coverage under Medicaid, but the differences are statistically insignificant. However, voters making more than $75,000 were more supportive of using Medicaid funds for abortion services (45% favor) than those making $25,000 or less (24% favor). [Emphasis added]

Although low-income respondents would presumably (by liberal logic, at least) have the most to gain from Medicaid-funded abortions, they were less likely to support this than the overall group — and much less likely than high-income respondents.

What might explain this gap? It’s difficult to say, though it does bring to mind the original vision of eugenicists such as Planned Parenthood founder Margaret Sanger, who supported abortion to help “stop the breeding” in working class families, lest their children “become permanent members of the ranks of the unfit.” Perhaps those who Sanger would have called “unfit” — or, to use a more recent term, “deplorable” — have different ideas?

Regardless, these results should at the very least be taken to illustrate how out of step Hillary Clinton and her Democratic colleagues are when they call for the elimination of the Hyde Amendment, a policy which still holds widespread support even among an increasingly divided populace.

Paul Dupont is the managing editor for

Paul Dupont

Paul Dupont is editor of

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