KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

Poll: Abortion Not Decisive Issue For More Than Half Of Voters

While the 2012 presidential race has energized pro- and anti-abortion rights groups, a new CBS News poll shows that as many as 57 percent of registered voters in both parties say it's possible they would vote for a candidate who disagreed with them on the issue. However, women are less likely than men to say that.

CBS: Abortion Views Not A Litmus Test For Most Voters
As many as 57 percent of registered voters say it's possible they would vote for a candidate that disagreed with them on the issue of abortion, according to the poll, conducted Aug. 22-26. Thirty-four percent said they could not support such a candidate. Women are more likely than men to say they could not vote for a candidate who disagreed with them on the issue of abortion (38 percent of women said so, compared with 29 percent of men). Additionally, Democrats (37 percent) are more likely than Republicans (27 percent) to say they could not do so (Condon, Backus, Salvanto, De Pinto and Dutton, 8/28).

The Wall Street Journal: Santorum Highlights Abortion Debate
[Former Sen. Rick] Santorum, who consistently outpaced Mr. Romney among social-issues conservatives, reminded the party faithful – and television viewers at home – that the GOP also observes strict limits on abortion, fighting for the rights of the “born and unborn” (O'Connor, 8/28).

Related: KHN has video excerpts of Santorum's speech and others from Tuesday night.

The Hill: Planned Parenthood Slams GOP Convention Speakers As 'Anti-Women's Health'
Planned Parenthood's political arm had strong words ahead of the Republican National Convention's first speeches Tuesday. The group painted the speakers, which include former Sen. Rick Santorum (Pa.) and Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell, as a "'who's who' of anti-women's health politicians." "The Republican platform and the speaker lineup for the Republican National Convention demonstrate a fundamental disregard for women and women’s health," said Cecile Richards, president of the Planned Parenthood Action Fund (PPAF), in a statement (Viebeck, 8/28).

The Hill: Poll: Most Say Abortion Opponents Should Back Birth Control
Most adults believe policymakers who oppose abortion should "strongly" support birth control, according to a new poll. The National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy found that 75 percent of adults hold this view while 21 percent disagree. The finding comes as debates over abortion and contraception see renewed vigor in U.S. politics. Teen pregnancy and sex education — both hot-button issues in the past — have been much less prominent (Viebeck, 8/28).

The Hill: Anti-Abortion Group Attacks Obama With Mo. Ad Campaign
A leading anti-abortion-rights group is seeking to change the conversation in Missouri with an ad campaign slamming President Obama. The ad paints Obama as extreme on abortion and comes in response to a recent controversy involving Missouri Rep. Todd Akin (R), who brought abortion to the national forefront by saying that victims of "legitimate rape" rarely become pregnant. Conservatives argue that the media disproportionately scrutinized Republicans' abortion views in response to Akin's comments and the release of GOP platform language that would ban abortion without exception (Viebeck, 8/28).

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