Every Republicans’ nightmare has pretty much come true: a recent poll has revealed that the majority (an overwhelming 71%) of Americans are NOT supportive of a government shutdown over Planned Parenthood, and are supportive of a budget agreement to keep the government open.
This information came from a CNN/ORC poll that was released on Monday, solidifying the fact that Republicans’ bigoted, anti-woman’s way of thinking is almost history. Only 22% of the Americans polled believed that it was more important to defund Planned Parenthood than it was for Congress to approve a spending bill to stop the government from shutting down.
The last time the government shut down was in 2013 and lasted 16 days, when President Barack Obama passed his health care law. To prevent the same thing from happening on October 1st, lawmakers must come to a consensus on the terms of a temporary spending bill. Meanwhile, conservatives are putting pressure on GOP leaders in the house to block funding for the women’s health organization – despite the fact that out of the $500 million in state and federal funding the organization receives each year, almost none of it goes to the abortion services many Republicans are trying to outlaw.
Some Republicans have fought tooth and nail to defund Planned Parenthood – one of them being “presidential candidate” Ted Cruz. After the undercover “sting” videos against Planned Parenthood (which by the way, have been proven false over and over again) were released, Cruz tried to get his colleagues to sign a letter that vowed to oppose any bill that allows Planned Parenthood to get funding. The letter was met with much criticism from his fellow Republicans, who didn’t think Cruz would succeed and would only stand to make the party look foolish. In speaking about the possible government shutdown over Planned Parenthood, Republican presidential contender John Kasich said:
“I think there are other ways for Congress to try to deal with this. And they need to be more creative in regard to Planned Parenthood. But when you shut the government down, people don’t like it. And you shouldn’t shut it down unless you have a great chance of success.”
Just to show how out of touch Republicans are with the rest of Americans, the poll showed that avoiding a government shutdown was only slightly more important to them than defunding Planned Parenthood – 48% compared to 44%.
This issue of abortion tends to be a big one in elections – and this one will be no different. With less and less people agreeing with the limited, narrow-minded views of the GOP, Republicans might as well toss in the towel now. Their insistence on waging these petty battles over subjective social issues is not enough to distract the public from the real issues affecting our country.
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Opinion columnist and former editor-in-chief of Occupy Democrats. He graduated from Bennington College with a Bachelor's degree in history and political science. He now focuses on advancing the cause of social justice and equality in America.