A new CNN poll "indicates that 61 percent of the public opposes the use of public money for abortions for women who can not afford the procedure, with 37 percent in favor of allowing the use of federal funds." How much stronger must opposition to public funding of abortion be in states like Byron Dorgan's North Dakota and Blanche Lincoln's Arkansas? What's really remarkable is that a majority of Americans oppose private insurance coverage of abortions:
38. Now think about women who are covered by private health insurance plans that are paid for by private individuals or employers with no money from the government involved. Do you think private health insurance plans should cover some or all of the costs of an abortion, or do you think that women who want to get an abortion should have to pay the complete costs of that abortion out of their own pockets? Health insurance should cover 45% Pay all costs herself 51%
In their attacks on the Stupak amendment, a number of pro-choice Democrats, like Rep. Nita Lowey of New York, have claimed that the amendment "puts new restrictions on women's access to abortion coverage in the private health insurance market even when they would pay premiums with their own money." Even the St. Petersburg Times's Politifact, which has a history of flacking for the Democratic party, reports that this claim is "false." It turns out that a majority of Americans support even the supposedly scary and radical position that Nancy Pelosi and Planned Parenthood falsely ascribe to Stupak supporters. While it's remarkable, opposition to private insurance coverage of abortion is hardly surprising. The CNN poll reports that 55 63 percent of Americans want abortion to be illegal in all but a few circumstances. It's not shocking that they don't want public funds or private insurance to pay for something they believe to be so unjust that it should be generally banned. Update: Via Ramesh Ponnuru, the Washington Post/ABC poll had a similar finding:
21. Say someone buys private health insurance using government assistance to help pay for it. Do you think insurance sold that way should or should not be allowed to include coverage for abortions? Should 35 Should not 61
Correction: 63 percent of Americans believe abortion should be illegal or legal in only a few circumstances. I had originally reported 55% believed so. That number was from a 2005 poll.
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