Poll reveals Texans broadly support
women’s access to health care and
state funding for programs
By Kate Alfano
Texans believe that access to family planning and birth control is important and should not be limited by a woman’s income level, employer, or medical provider, according to results from a recent survey. Respondents crossing broad demographic categories—political, racial, generational, and the religiously observant—expressed support for the right for women to make their own decisions about family planning and support state funding for family planning programs in the state.
Additionally, respondents oppose allowing employers to deny their employees health care coverage for family planning services and birth control, and want to ensure that state funding for family planning goes to medical providers who offer a full range of family planning services, including birth control.
When asked how important it is for Texas women to have access to family planning and birth control, regardless of income barriers, more than two-thirds, or 68 percent, responded that they felt it was extremely or very important while 30 percent said “just a little important” or “not important at all.” Support for access to family planning and birth control increases dramatically in the Hispanic population (with 81 percent feeling it’s extremely or very important versus 16 percent feeling it’s a little or not important), among women (73 percent versus 24 percent), and among respondents under 30 (84 percent versus 16 percent).
Seventy-three percent of respondents favor providing state-funded family planning services including birth control for low-income women, with 25 percent opposed. Support greatly increases among black respondents (97 percent in support versus 3 percent opposed), Democrats (95 percent versus 4 percent), and respondents under 30 (85 percent versus 15 percent).
Nearly half, or 49 percent, of respondents say that they feel that women’s access to family planning and birth control is being threatened in Texas, compared to 34 percent not acknowledging a threat.
The survey was conducted by Greenberg Quinlan Rosner and Chesapeake Beach Consulting for the Texas Freedom Network Education Fund. It reached a total of 604 registered voters in Texas and was conducted in February 2013.