Across Party Lines, Vast Majority of California Voters Overwhelmingly Support Access to Birth Control

New Poll Shows Concern About Changes to the Title X Family Planning Program

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 23, 2019
Contact: Amy Moy, 415.518.4465

SAN FRANCISCO - Today, Essential Access released the results of a new survey of California voters conducted by Lake Research Partners. The results show that 9 in 10 voters believe it is important for women to have access to the type of birth control that works best for them. Voters overwhelmingly favor ensuring women can get birth control, regardless of their ability to pay for it, including a strong majority of Republicans and Independents.

California voters are also aligned when it comes to the Trump administration’s changes to the federal Title X family planning program that are scheduled to take effect May 3. Eighty percent of survey respondents noted they are concerned that the changes will eliminate the requirement to give women information about all of their pregnancy options, even if they ask for this information. Sixty-three percent said they are very concerned about this change. Nearly two-thirds of voters believe that if implemented, the changes will make it harder for women, including low-income women, to access birth control.

Consensus in support of access to birth control among California voters is consistent across key demographic subgroups, including gender, age, region, and religion. A strong majority of Catholic and Protestant survey respondents strongly support access to birth control for all who need it. In addition, 62% of respondents that personally oppose abortion believe access to birth control is important. Similarly, 61% of this block of voters express concern about the administration’s policy changes that could deny women information about their pregnancy options.

"California voters instinctively understand that in 2019, we should not be creating barriers for women to get the information and services they need to make decisions about their health," said Julie Rabinovitz, President and CEO of Essential Access Health. "These survey results confirm that the Trump administration’s family planning policies are widely out of step with the majority of voters, both Republicans and Democrats, and that support for birth control is a winning issue across party lines."

Celinda Lake, President of Lake Research Partners said, "In this polarized age, it is rare to see such consensus. This isn’t a partisan issue; Democrats, Republicans, and Independents all agree. These attitudes show these are core values more than debates."

Toplines from the Survey Include:

  • 87 percent of California voters believe it is important for there to be access to birth control for everyone who wants it or needs it – regardless of their ability to pay. 72 percent think it is very important.
  • Strong support for access to birth control for all who need it spans all demographics:
    • 76 percent of men favor
    • 76 percent of Independents favor
    • 62 percent of Republicans favor
    • 93 percent of Democrats favor
    • 85 percent of Millennials favor
    • 81 percent of Catholics and 77 percent of Protestants
  • At least 2/3 of voters in every region of the state, including traditionally conservative areas like the Central Valley and Inland Empire, believe access to birth control is important.
  • 78 percent are concerned about the proposed policy changes to Title X, the federal program providing family planning services to low-income and uninsured people, specifically changes which would eliminate the requirement to give women information all of their pregnancy options. 64 percent are very concerned.
    • 63 percent of Republicans are concerned
    • More than four out of five Millennials (85 percent) are concerned
  • Views on abortion do not impact views on access to birth control or Title X changes:
    • 62 percent of Californians who believe abortion is wrong and should be illegal believe access to birth control is important.
    • 61 percent of Californians who believe abortion is wrong and should be illegal are concerned about eliminating requirements to give women information on all pregnancy options.

About Essential Access Health: Essential Access Health leads the largest and most comprehensive Title X system in the nation. Title X funding, delivered through Essential Access in California, supports the delivery of quality preventive health services including birth control, pregnancy tests, STD testing and treatment, and cancer screenings. Essential Access Health's current Title X provider network includes 355 health centers in 38 of California's 58 counties that collectively serve 1,000,000 low-income patients each year. One in four of all Title X patients served nationwide receives care at a Title X-funded health center in California.

Survey Methodology: Lake Research Partners designed and administered this survey that was conducted by telephone and online from March 28 – April 8, 2019.  The survey reached a total of 1,000 likely voters in California with oversamples of 100 African American women under age 50 in low income zip codes, 100 Latina women under age 50 in low income zip codes, and 100 Asian American/Pacific Islander women under age 50 in low income zip codes, 100 Millennial women, 100 Central Valley and 100 Inland Empire residents. The oversamples were pulled from a file of low-income zip codes. The phone survey reached 500 completes and the online survey reached 500 completes.

The base sample was weighted by gender, region, age, race, party identification, and educational attainment. The millennial women sample was weighted by region, age, race, and party identification. The African American women under age 50 from low income zip codes oversample was weighted by age and educational attainment. The Latina women under age 50 from low income zip codes oversample was weighted by age. The Asian American/Pacific Islander women under age 50 from low income zip codes oversample was weighted by age and educational attainment. The Central Valley oversample was weighted by gender, age, and party identification. The Inland Empire oversample was weighted by gender, age, race, and educational attainment. The oversamples were weighted down into the base to reflect their proportion of the actual population. The margin of error for the total sample is +/-3.1%.

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