As a debate over women’s contraceptive rights rages on, about one in three women believe there is a “wide-scale effort to limit women’s reproductive health choices and services” and many have taken action because of it, a new poll finds.
The Kaiser Family Foundation’s May tracking poll, released Thursday, finds that 42 percent of women say they took some sort of action in the past six months on the issue, whether it has been donating money, trying to influence a friend’s opinion or contacting an elected official.
This has been spurred by the recent debate over the Obama administration’s decision to implement a mandate requiring all health plans cover birth control, as well as state and federal disputes over public funding for Planned Parenthood.
The Catholic Church has been engaged in an ongoing battle over the mandate, with 43 religious colleges and institutions filing suit over the mandate.
Still even though most women seem to like President Obama’s effort for contraceptive rights, the poll found that the share of the public with a favorable view of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care dropped 5 percentage points this month, with unfavorable views now outnumbering favorable ones by a small margin (44 percent versus 37 percent).
And despite the political attention birth control is getting, women don’t think reproductive health is a hot-button election issue. Like their male counterparts, female voters continue to focus on the economy as their top election concern, with several other issues—including health care—more important than women’s reproductive health.
In fact, just 5 percent want to hear from Obama or Mitt Romney about abortion, women’s health or other women’s issues.
The poll a larger number of women—45 percent—say that while some groups would like to limit women’s reproductive health choices and services, it is not a wide-scale effort. Seven percent said no such effort exists.
Liberal women (49 percent) are far more likely than conservative women (18 percent) to perceive a major effort to limit services.
Additionally, The poll was conducted May 8 to May 14 and surveyed 1,218 adults.