New Poll Shows Broad Support for Conscience Protections

April 8, 2009

Today the Christian Medical Association released a poll showing broad support for conscience protections.

Here are some of their findings:

Americans want their Doctors and Nurses to share their morals

The poll found that 88% of American adults surveyed said it is either “very” or “somewhat” important to them that they enjoy a similar set of morals as their doctors, nurses, and other healthcare providers. 

A majority of Americans support general conscience protections

87% of American adults surveyed believed it is important to “make sure that healthcare professionals in America are not forced to participate in procedures and practices to which they have moral objections.”

65% of respondents generally support conscience protections. A majority of men, women, and adults of all ages, races, regions, and political affiliations considered it critical to defend the rights of healthcare providers to refuse to perform certain procedures on moral grounds.

Support for protections hold up regardless of views on abortion.

95% of respondents who self-identified as “pro-life” support conscience protections.

78% who consider themselves “prochoice,” support the protections

94% who voted for Senator McCain in November 2008 and 80% who cast a ballot for (now) President Obama support the protections.

Americans support President Bush’s conscience protections

63% specifically support President Bush’s conscience regulations that went into effect on January 20, 2009 with 42% strongly backing it.

28% oppose the Bush regulations with 19% strongly rejecting it.

Support for the regulation spanned demographic and political spectra.

Even 56% of adults who said they voted for President Obama last fall and 60% of respondents who self-identified as “pro-choice” said they favor this two-month old conscience protection rule.

A majority of Americans oppose President Obama’s Rescission of the Bush protections

62% oppose Obama rescinding the conscience protections in place, with 44% strongly opposing rescission.

30% support rescinding the current conscience protections with 17% strongly supporting it.

Again, a majority of men, women, and adults of all ages, races, incomes, regions, and geographic types stood together to reject removal of conscience protection. And, there similar majorities across political lines, as 52% of self-identified Democrats, 67% of self-identified Independents, and 73% of self-identified Republicans, as well as 50% of liberals, 65% of moderates, and 69% of conservatives also opposed rescinding the conscience protection.

Most Americans would vote against a Member of Congress who votes against conscience protections

Finally, when asked how they would view their Member of Congress if he or she voted against conscience protection rights.

54% indicated they would be less likely to back their United States Representative.

43% of respondents who said they voted for President Obama indicated that they would be less inclined to back a Member of Congress if he or she opposed conscience protection rights.

To see the complete results click here.

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