While most Americans oppose government funding of abortion, a new Pew Research Center survey finds that concern about abortion funding plays only a small role in driving opposition to the health care reform legislation under consideration by Congress.
A fuller summary of the report as well as links to the report itself can be found here.
A 55% majority of Americans say that abortion should not be included as a guaranteed medical benefit if the government health care reform plan passes, according to a release from the Pew Center. Only about half as many (28%) say it should be included. The public was more evenly divided in a comparable Gallup survey conducted during the health care debate in 1994. At that time 42% said abortion should be covered by government benefits while 49% said it should not be.
More than seven-in-ten (72%) of those who oppose the legislation say coverage of abortion should not be included in government benefits. Even among Americans who favor health care reform, a 46% plurality says abortion should not be included in government benefits, while 35% say it should be.
But when respondents in the survey were asked to explain, in their own words, the main reasons for supporting or opposing the reform proposals, few brought up abortion funding.