WASHINGTON, D.C., SEPT. 23, 2009 (Zenit.org).- The majority of Americans oppose the inclusion of abortion in a health care reform plan, and support the protection of conscience rights, says a spokesperson for the U.S. bishops’ conference.
Deirdre McQuade, assistant director for policy and communications at the conference’s Secretariat of Pro-Life Activities, said this in a statement today after releasing the results of a survey commissioned by the conference.
The survey, conducted by International Communications Research from Sept. 16-20, found that of 1,043 U.S. adults polled, 60% favor — and only 30% oppose — “efforts to pass health care reform to provide affordable health insurance for all.”
Of the 60% who favor health reform, the survey found that 60% oppose — and only 25% support — “measures that would require people to pay for abortion coverage with their federal taxes.”
“With each passing week it gets clearer,” said McQuade. “The American public generally does not want to pay for abortion coverage and does not want health care reform used to promote abortion.
“Abortion is not health care. The bishops of the United States are working hard to ensure that health care reform serves the most vulnerable among us — especially the poor, immigrants and the unborn.”
Additionally, among those favoring reform, two-thirds favor maintaining “current federal laws that protect doctors and nurses from being forced to perform or refer for abortions against their will.”
Opposition to abortion coverage was somewhat stronger in the total sample of U.S. adults — for example, 67% of the total sample opposed requiring people to pay for abortion coverage through their taxes and 56% opposed making them do so through their insurance premiums.
The survey also asked: “If the choice were up to you, would you want your own insurance policy to include abortion?” Sixty-eight percent of U.S. adults said no, and 24% said yes.
McQuade noted that the bishops’ survey “confirms other recent polls conducted by Public Opinion Strategies (Aug. 30-Sept. 1) and Rasmussen Reports (Sept. 14-15) on health care policy and abortion.”