The Corner

Politics & Policy

Americans Support DOJ Investigation of Planned Parenthood

Earlier this month, the Department of Justice announced that it would launch an investigation into Planned Parenthood’s involvement in illegally profiting from the transfer of fetal tissue from aborted babies. A recent Rasmussen poll found that a plurality of likely voters support this investigation – 46 percent said they favored the investigation while only 38 percent were opposed to it.

Interestingly, many political analysts have suggested that Republicans and pro-life Americans ought to forget about their opposition to Planned Parenthood. Some claim that, while many women and young adults are pro-life, they also support Planned Parenthood. This Rasmussen poll, however, finds that these demographic groups were actually more likely to support the Department of Justice investigation of Planned Parenthood, 48 percent of women and 51 percent of young adults.

While the poll also finds that 60 percent of likely voters have a favorable view of Planned Parenthood, there is evidence that the group’s popularity has, in fact, eroded over recent decades. In 1989, a Gallup poll found that Planned Parenthood’s approval rating was a whopping 89 percent, much higher than the 60 percent Rasmussen now reports. During the 1990s, defunding Planned Parenthood was not a priority, even for pro-life politicians. Now, however, a vast majority of Republican congressmen publicly support defunding Planned Parenthood. This upcoming DOJ investigation ought to receive plenty of media coverage, and if it reveals additional information damaging to Planned Parenthood, as is likely, it will surely decrease the group’s popularity even further.

Michael J. New is a visiting assistant professor of social research and political science at the Catholic University of America and an associate scholar at the Charlotte Lozier Institute in Washington, D.C.

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