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Reproductive Health Care Poll of Republicans & Independents

We are pleased to share with you the results of a new national public opinion survey conducted on behalf of the National Women’s Law Center and the YWCA-USA of 1,000 Republican and Independent voters on an array of public policies to improve reproductive health care. 
The survey, conducted by Public Strategies, Inc., found that Republicans, and to an even greater degree Independents, support a number of key legislative proposals to make contraception more affordable and accessible.  The survey also found that Republicans and Independents strongly support comprehensive sex education, particularly as compared to abstinence-only programs. 

This support exists not only among more moderate Republicans and Independents, but extends to more conservative “strong” Republicans as well.  Importantly, nearly three-quarters (73%) of Republican and Independent voters are concerned that government is too quick to involve itself in people’s personal lives and private decisions when it comes to sexual behavior and pregnancy. 

Other key findings include:
Contraception: 63% of Republicans and Independents favor legislation that would give states the flexibility to expand insurance coverage for contraceptives under Medicaid.

Nearly three-quarters (72%) of Republicans and Independents favor legislation that would make it easier for people at all income levels to obtain contraception, and 70 percent favor legislation that would help make birth control more affordable.  

Only 2 percent of Republicans and Independents would like to see government restrict access to contraception.  A majority (64%) would like to see government provide more information about contraception, and 33 percent would prefer that the government play no role. 

A strong majority of Independents (67%) and nearly half of Republicans (49%) have a favorable opinion of emergency contraception.

Sex Education: Only 8 percent of Republicans and Independents think the government should support abstinence-only programs.  A strong majority of Independents (76%) and Republicans (62%) believe the government should support comprehensive sex education programs that include information about abstinence, as well as information about contraception and sexually transmitted diseases.

Self-identified “strong” Republicans prefer comprehensive sex education over abstinence-only programs by a 56 percent to 14 percent margin. 

Two-thirds (67%) of Republicans and Independents prefer a Senate candidate who favors teaching comprehensive sex education in public schools over a candidate who favors teaching abstinence-only.

Pharmacy Refusals: Overall, more than half (51%) of Republicans and Independents strongly favor legislation that requires pharmacies to ensure that patients access contraception at their pharmacy of choice, even if a particular pharmacist has a moral objection to contraceptives and refuses to provide it.

Self-identified “strong” Republicans favor such legislation by a 55 percent to 36 percent margin.


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