WASHINGTON - June 23 - Americans of all political persuasions and religious backgrounds are unified in their support of efforts to improve women's access to birth control as the best way to prevent unintended pregnancies and reduce the need for abortion, according to the newly released Wall Street Journal Online/Harris Interactive Health-Care Poll.
Nancy Keenan, president of NARAL Pro-Choice America, said the poll's findings provide further evidence that President Bush and his anti-choice allies in Congress are out of touch with Americans' priorities.
"NARAL Pro-Choice America and pro-choice leaders on Capitol Hill and in the states have challenged President Bush and anti-choice lawmakers to join us in supporting commonsense, common-ground ways to prevent unintended pregnancies, including better access to birth control, that would reduce the need for abortion," Keenan said. "These anti-choice politicians refuse to answer the public's call for common ground because of far-right pressure groups' demands. Voters who support the values of freedom, privacy, and personal responsibility should know that the best way to end these attacks on birth control and a woman's right to choose is by electing pro-choice candidates at all levels of government this November."
Keenan cited examples from the poll where anti-choice politicians are out of step with the public when it comes to improving access to contraception:
- Eighty-one percent of Americans (including 81 percent of Catholics and 75 percent of born-again Christians) say providing people with access to birth control is a good way to reduce the need for abortion. However, Senate anti-choice leaders are trying to pass legislation that would, among other things, override laws in 25 states that require insurance plans cover birth control in the same way they cover other prescription medication like Viagra.
- Sixty-two percent of Americans oppose allowing pharmacists to refuse to fill women's prescriptions for birth control; yet legislators in 18 states are considering or have considered measures that would allow pharmacies or pharmacists to refuse to fill women's prescriptions for birth control, and anti-choice leaders in Congress continue to look the other way.
- Fifty-eight percent of Americans (including a majority of Catholics) think the "morning-after" pill should be available in all pharmacies. President Bush's political appointees at the Food and Drug Administration, while ignoring recommendations from the agency's medical and scientific experts, have blocked the morning-after pill from becoming available over the counter.
The poll, which was released late yesterday, surveyed a diverse cross section of 2,689 adults from June 9 to 13.