By Susan Brinkmann, OCDS
With several amendments to defund Planned Parenthood pending on the Hill, a new poll has discovered that the public is split on whether or not the abortion giant should continue to receive federal funds.
According to The Hill, which conducted the poll, 46 percent of likely voters think Planned Parenthood funding should be left alone, with 42 percent saying it should be cut. A margin of error of plus or minus three percent could make these numbers very close to a draw.
Overall, women tended to favor keeping the funds intact with 50 percent saying the money should not cut off with only 43 percent of men agreeing.
Only 26 percent of single people supported cutting the funds compared to 51 percent of married people who said taxpayers should not foot the bill for Planned Parenthood.
Fifty-five percent of those over the age of 65 back the cuts, but only 31 percent of voters aged 18 to 39 feel the same.
Only nine percent of blacks want to see the funds cut, compared to 45 percent of white voters.
Voters were also very much split along party lines. Republicans were nearly three times more likely to support the cuts than Democrats with 62 percent of Republicans favoring cuts and 67 percent of Democrats saying the funding should be left intact.
Something will have to give in the days ahead as amendments to defund Planned Parenthood are part of a critical budget bill that must be passed within the next week in order to keep the government operating past April 8.
Lawmakers who support the cuts say they want to ensure that federal dollars are not in any way supporting a group that provides abortion services. Planned Parenthood supporters on the Hill say they oppose the cuts because federal law already prevents money from being used for abortions.
Both sides are under intense pressure from their constituents to either pass or reject the defunding amendments, and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) has already said he will not consider any budget bill that includes measures to defund Planned Parenthood.
Meanwhile, there have been some key defections in conservative ranks among Senators who now say they won’t back a budget bill if it includes the Planned Parenthood amendments. Among them is Scott Brown (R-MA), who announced last week that he thought the cuts “go too far,” even though he voted for an earlier budget bill that included the amendments. Two other GOP senators, Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) and Susan Collins (R-ME) have also announced that they will vote against the cuts.
It remains to be seen if all Democratic Senators will vote against the cuts, or if those lawmakers up for re-election in socially conservative states in 2012 will decide to cast their vote in favor of defunding Planned Parenthood.
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