Over two dozen nationwide and statewide polls in 2015–2019 showed fierce support for Planned Parenthood and vehement opposition to efforts to block patients from accessing lifesaving care at Planned Parenthood health centers.
These poll results stem from the deep and longstanding relationship that many Americans have with Planned Parenthood, the nation’s leading provider of sexual and reproductive health care and sex education. For over a century, people have relied on Planned Parenthood for care and information, and each year Planned Parenthood health centers serve millions of patients essential services such as birth control, lifesaving cancer screenings, safe and legal abortion, and other high-quality health care. In fact, an estimated one in five American women has relied on Planned Parenthood for care in her lifetime.
The poll results below reveal the passion driving Planned Parenthood supporters to keep fighting for patients’ access to care in the face of attacks at both the state and federal level.
25 National Polls Show Support for Planned Parenthood, Opposition to ‘Defunding’
25 national polls — including polls conducted in 2015, the year of a big congressional attempt to block patients from care — showed strong support for Planned Parenthood and strong opposition to dangerous policies targeting Planned Parenthood.
Support for Planned Parenthood Overall
These nationwide polls use hard data to verify Americans’ support for Planned Parenthood, proving again and again that a sizeable portion of the country views Planned Parenthood favorably.
2. Planned Parenthood is the most popular among a variety of “political” institutions, with 52% of Americans saying they hold Planned Parenthood in high esteem. The FBI is the next most popular, with 48 % of respondents rating it positively. (NBC News/WSJ, March 2018)
3. In the heat of the 2016 presidential race, Planned Parenthood had a higher favorability rating than the NRA, both political parties, and all candidates running for president. (NBC News/WSJ, June 2016)
4. As the 2016 presidential campaigns began, Planned Parenthood had a higher favorability rating than the U.S. Supreme Court, both political parties, and all candidates running for president. (NBC News/WSJ, August 2015)
5. Showing the consistency of the group’s popularity over a time, a 2015 poll found that a solid majority of Americans have a favorable view of Planned Parenthood — including more than a third of people who think abortion should be banned. (YouGov, July 2015)
6. Even Fox reported that 58% of respondents to one of their polls view Planned Parenthood favorably, confirming other sources and earlier Fox polls. (Fox News, March 2018)
Support for Planned Parenthood Patients’ Access to Care
All these nationwide polls showed that a majority of Americans support patients’ access to preventive care at Planned Parenthood health centers.
7. 75% of the public support federal funding for Planned Parenthood, including majority support from Republican men and women. (Kaiser Family Foundation, March 2017)
8. Two-thirds of Americans support federal funding for Planned Parenthood. (USA TODAY/Suffolk University, September 2015)
9. A majority of Americans support federal funding for Planned Parenthood and strongly oppose attempts to block patients from accessing it. (Reuters/Ipsos, August 2015)
10. Even when Republicans in Congress were threatening to shut down the government over Planned Parenthood in 2015, most Americans still thought Planned Parenthood should continue to receive government funding. (New York Times/CBS News, September 2015)
11. A 2016 poll found that 73% of people who don’t have health insurance — and 56% of people who have insurance — are in favor of continued federal funding for Planned Parenthood. In a series of focus groups in states across the country, Donald Trump’s own voters made clear they would be “disappointed” with blocking Planned Parenthood patients from care. (POLITICO-Harvard, October 2016)
12. Yet again, in 2015, even Fox found that over half of voters want Planned Parenthood to continue to receive federal funding, and more voters than not view Planned Parenthood positively. (Fox News, August 2015)
Opposition to “Defunding” Planned Parenthood
National polls showed that a majority of Americans are against “defunding Planned Parenthood,” which means blocking patients who rely on public programs from using those programs to access preventive care — like birth control, well-woman exams, and cancer screenings — at Planned Parenthood health centers.
13. Soon after former President Trump was elected, 91% of all adults and 79% of Trump voters rejected a Congressional agenda that included “defunding” Planned Parenthood. (PerryUndem Gender Equality Report, January 2017)
14. 80% of voters opposed “defunding” Planned Parenthood after they learned how federal funding works — a result that confirms earlier polls’ findings. (Quinnipiac University Poll, March 2017)
15. 67% of Republican voters opposed “defunding” Planned Parenthood after they learned that government funding does not pay for abortion. (Quinnipiac University Poll, June 2017)
16. Before learning what “defunding” Planned Parenthood means, 62% of voters opposed it. After respondents were asked, "If you knew that federal government funding to Planned Parenthood was being used only for non-abortion health issues such as breast cancer screening, would you still favor cutting off funding to Planned Parenthood?" 80% opposed a funding cut — and only 12% were in favor of cutting funding. (Quinnipiac University poll, January 2017)
17. Without education on the topic, more than half of Trump voters opposed “defunding” Planned Parenthood. (Perry Undem Gender and Birth Control Access Report, March 2017)
18. In the wake of a 2015 smear campaign, 72% of independent voters disagreed with efforts by members of Congress to immediately vote on blocking patients from accessing care at Planned Parenthood health centers. (Hart Research, July 2015)
19. Of the majority of Americans who oppose eliminating Planned Parenthood's federal funding, 44% are "strongly opposed.” (NBC News/Wall Street Journal, September 2015)
20. Americans overwhelmingly oppose cutting off federal funds for Planned Parenthood, with the majority of those surveyed responding that funding should not be eliminated. (USA TODAY/Suffolk University, December 2015)
21. 65% of women voters oppose “defunding” Planned Parenthood. (Hart Research, December 2016)
Opposition to a Government Shutdown Over Planned Parenthood
These nationwide polls showed what Americans think about members of Congress who threaten to shut down the government if Planned Parenthood patients continued to access care at its health centers. Most of these polls were taken when these threats were being made in the middle of a 2015 “defund” fight. So far, Planned Parenthood supporters in Congress have successfully averted a government shutdown over its funding.
23. A majority of Americans said that any federal budget must maintain funding for Planned Parenthood and if the government does shut down, more said the Republicans would be to blame than any other participant. (Pew Research Center, September 2015)
24. The majority of those who labeled themselves “conservative” said it is more important to avoid a government shutdown than block patients insured with Medicaid from accessing Planned Parenthood. (CNN/ORC, September 2015)
25. Again, 69% of those surveyed do not support forcing a government shutdown to block Planned Parenthood's funding, and less than half of Republicans would entertain this idea. (Associated Press-GfK, October 2015)
Nationwide Support for Access to Safe, Legal Abortion
In addition to the widespread, steady support and trust people all over the country place in Planned Parenthood, national polls show Americans overwhelmingly support access to safe, legal abortion. Moreover, polls show that women’s rights — including the right to safe, legal abortion — is a top motivator for political action.
79% of Americans want abortion to remain legal, according to a 2020 Gallup poll.
77% of Americans believe the U.S. Supreme Court should uphold Roe v. Wade, according to a 2019 NPR/PBS NewsHour/Marist poll.
A 2018 Washington Post-Kaiser Family Foundation poll shows that women’s rights was the top issue that brought adults out to rallies and protests from February 2016 to February 2018. Nearly half (46%) of all in-person protesters cited women’s rights as the issue they’re fighting for, and an additional 26% were out for abortion or birth control access.
In a 2017 Pew Research Center poll, about seven in ten Americans said that they oppose Roe v. Wade being overturned.
A 2017 Quinnipiac University poll shows that 70% of voters agree with the Supreme Court’s decision in Roe v. Wade.
A 2015 Bloomberg Politics national poll found that 67% of Americans surveyed said the Supreme Court was right to rule that women have a constitutional right to abortion.
A 2016 poll from Perry/Undem shows that nearly two-thirds (63%) of participants said increasing state-level anti-abortion restrictions is going in the wrong direction. And, when asked to choose one word to describe their reaction to the list of new state restrictions, many chose words like “unfair,” “wrong,” “disgusted,” “ridiculous,” and “angry.”
A 2016 PerryUndem poll commissioned by Vox found that the majority of Americans oppose restrictions meant to shutter health centers or make it more difficult for women to access abortion, and that 70% of Americans don’t want to see Roe v. Wade overturned.
A 2016 PerryUndem poll commissioned by the National Latina Institute for Reproductive Health found that 67% of Latino voters do not want to see Roe v. Wade overturned, and that 69% of Latino voters said they believe abortion should remain legal regardless of whether church leaders oppose it.
State-by-State Support for Planned Parenthood
Polls in battleground states continue to show strong support for Planned Parenthood.
Several polls found that an overwhelming majority of voters in battleground states oppose attempts to “defund” Planned Parenthood and are less likely to support candidates who vote to do so. Case in point:
In responding to a 2020 poll from NARAL Pro-Choice America, 76% of voters in battleground states — including 79% of independent voters and 55% of Republican voters — said they believe that any decision about pregnancy should be made by the pregnant person with the support of people she loves and trusts.
Florida, California, Virginia, Illinois, New York, Arizona, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Minnesota, Colorado, Kansas: In 2017, 59% of voters in 13 swing districts in these states say they oppose “defunding” Planned Parenthood, and 54% said if their member of Congress supported “defunding” they would be less likely to vote for that candidate.
Iowa: A poll conducted by the Des Moines Register and Mediacom in 2017 shows that 77% of Iowans support Planned Parenthood funding for preventive care. The poll also found that 62% of Republicans believe funding for preventive care should continue, as do 62% of evangelical Christians.
Arizona and Nevada: Two separate polls from the Global Strategy Group, conducted in December 2016 in Arizona and Nevada, showed voters overwhelmingly supported Planned Parenthood and were less likely to vote for candidates who support “defunding” Planned Parenthood.
The Nevada poll showed that 58% of Nevadans support Planned Parenthood, including 75% of Latino voters. The poll also showed across-the-board opposition to “defunding” Planned Parenthood, with 42% of Republicans opposing. Nearly half — 49% — of Nevada voters said they were less likely to vote for candidates who support “defunding” Planned Parenthood.
The Arizona poll showed that 60% of Arizonans, including 71% of Latino voters, have a favorable view of Planned Parenthood. The poll also found that 48% of Arizona voters are less likely to vote for candidates who support “defunding” Planned Parenthood.
New Hampshire, Ohio, and Pennsylvania: Three 2015 surveys conducted by Hart Research show that despite attacks from anti-abortion extremists and their allies in Congress, voters in the battleground states of New Hampshire, Ohio, and Pennsylvania strongly supported Planned Parenthood.
These state-level polls found strong opposition to blocking patients using Medicaid from accessing the preventive health services, including cancer screenings and birth control, that Planned Parenthood provides to millions of women in communities across the country — as well as overwhelming opposition to a government shutdown over Planned Parenthood.
Key findings from the surveys include:
66% of New Hampshire voters oppose blocking patients from accessing Planned Parenthood’s preventive health services, including 72% of independents.
65% of Ohio voters oppose blocking patients from accessing Planned Parenthood’s preventive health services, including 59% of independents.
69% of Pennsylvania voters oppose blocking patients from accessing Planned Parenthood’s preventive health services, including 69% of independents.
By a two-to-one margin, voters in all three states said they would be less likely to vote to reelect their senators if they supported blocking patients from accessing care at Planned Parenthood.
An additional 2015 poll in Maine from Hart Research found that 70% of Maine voters oppose the attempt by congressional Republicans to end all government funding for Planned Parenthood, with 55% strongly opposed.
The Power of the Movement
What’s the takeaway from all this data? The reproductive rights movement is more powerful than ever — and it’s growing by leaps and bounds.
Planned Parenthood’s 17 million supporters have been sick and tired of attacks on their rights and freedoms. So they’re joining forces with reproductive rights supporters nationwide to fight back against attacks on Planned Parenthood patients’ access to care, and to push the Biden-Harris administration to make expanding access to sexual and reproductive health care a priority. And they’re a force to be reckoned with.