New Polling Shows Strong Support for Birth Control as a Basic Part of Women’s Health Care

Press release

New Polling Shows Strong Support for Birth Control as a Basic Part of Women’s Health Care

November 13, 2018
It's Basic Health Care

(Washington, D.C.) —Nearly 8 in 10 (78%) adults in the United States—including 66% of Republicans and 93% of Democrats—consider birth control to be a basic part of women’s health care, according to a new telephone survey of more than 1,000 adults 18 and older released today by Power to Decide. At the same time, the survey showed that nearly three-quarters (72%) of those 18-29 say they are concerned that women may not be able to access the full range of birth control methods in the future due to changes in the political landscape. Power to Decide’s survey was conducted in conjunction with the 6th annual Thanks, Birth Control Day, taking place today, Tuesday, Nov. 13.

The survey also showed overwhelming support for federal, state and local efforts to protect funding for birth control, as well as efforts to ensure that teens and young adults have access to the full range of birth control methods. 

Specifically, the survey found:

  • 78% of respondents (including 66% of Republicans and 93% of Democrats) think that birth control should be considered a basic part of women’s health care. 
  • 81% of those surveyed (including 72% of Republicans and 90% of Democrats) support policies that make it easier for people 18 and older to get the full range of birth control methods. 
  • 70% (including 52% of Republicans and 85% of Democrats) support policies that make it easier for teensto get the full range of birth control methods. 
  • 75% of respondents support efforts to protect federal, state and local funding for birth control for women 18 years and older.
  • 68% of respondents support efforts to protect federal, state and local funding for birth control for teens.                                              

“Today is Thanks, Birth Control Day, when we celebrate the positive impact that birth control has had on the lives of millions of women for decades.” said Ginny Ehrlich, CEO, Power to Decide. “The overwhelming majority of people in the United States support policies and public funding that make it easier for all women to get the full range of birth control methods. Unfortunately, the current administration is making decisions that are out of step with the public will, and young people are rightly concerned. In fact, 72% of 18-29 year olds are concerned that women may not be able to access the full range of birth control methods in the future because of changes in the political landscape.”

The concerned is well founded. Existing research from Power to Decide shows that more than 19 million women still live in contraceptive deserts, or counties in which there is not reasonable access to a clinic that provides the full range of contraceptive options. 

“On Thanks, Birth Control Day, we celebrate the tremendous power of birth control on women’s lives and on society. Access to birth control has changed the game for women since being made widely available in 1972. Since that time, women have made tremendous gains in educational attainment and economic independence,” Ehrlich said. 

“So today, let’s all do our part to make sure the next generation has unrestricted access to birth control—no matter who they are or where they live. Our policymakers need to understand that the majority of the public strongly support birth control as a part of women’s health,” Ehrlich added. “Our young people deserve nothing less.”

Power to Decide encourages all to celebrate Thanks, Birth Control Day by posting on social media using the hashtag #ThxBirthControl. There is also an extensive toolkit with resources for activating yourself, your networks, your community, and your elected officials available at Power to Decide’s web site. A series of shareable social media resources including digital postcards, animated GIFS and sample social media language—both in English and Spanish—are available. Join our Thanks, Birth Control Twitter chat hosted by @Refinery29 from 2 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. ET on Thursday, Nov. 13. Follow along and share the love using #R29xBedsider and #ThxBirthControl

Power to Decideis a private, non-partisan, non-profit organization that works to ensure all people—no matter who they are, where they live, or what their economic status might be—have the power to decide if, when and under what circumstances to get pregnant and have a child. Please visit us at www.PowerToDecide.org or follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

About the Survey:Data presented here are drawn from a national telephone survey conducted for Power to Decide by SSRS, an independent research company. Telephone interviews were conducted from August 21 to August 26, 2018 among a nationally representative sample of 1,016 U.S. respondents age 18 and older. The margin of error for total respondents is +/- 3.69% at the 95% confidence level.