News Release: Polling Indicates Widespread Support for Abortion Clinic Licensing

85 Percent of Respondents Want Facilities Clean and Safe

December 3, 2012

(Lansing)—A legislative measure that would allow state health officials to license and inspect every abortion clinic in the state has received overwhelming statewide support according to a poll recently commissioned by Michigan Catholic Conference. Currently, only four of 32 abortion clinics in Michigan are licensed, which means 28 of those facilities remain unlicensed and thereby rarely, if ever inspected by state officials for basic health and safety requirements. The policy is included in House Bill 5711 which could soon be addressed by the full Senate during the legislative “lame-duck” session.

According to a statewide survey conducted by Lansing-based Marketing Resource Group, 85 percent of all respondents, including 76 percent of self-identified Democrat pro-choice women, support the abortion clinic licensing and inspecting policy. Those 85 percent of respondents answered in the affirmative to the following:

“To maintain the health and safety of the public, the State of Michigan requires facilities, such as nursing homes, surgical centers and tattoo parlors to be licensed. However, Michigan law does not currently require most abortion facilities to be licensed. Without a license, state health officials are not able to inspect abortion facilities. Do you support or oppose legislation that would require all abortion facilities in Michigan to be licensed and inspected in order to protect the health and wellbeing of their patients?”

Category Support Oppose
Overall 85% 8%
Male 83% 9%
Female 87% 8%
Dem Pro Choice Women 76% 16%
Independent Women 86% 8%
Pro-Choice Women 77% 17%
Passive Pro-Choice 78% 17%
Active Pro-Choice 70% 17%
Active Pro-Life 85% 6%
Passive Pro-Life 97% 1%
In Between 91% 3%
Democrat 79% 13%
Independent 85% 8%
Republican 92% 3%
2008 Obama Voter 80% 13%
2008 McCain Voter 90% 4%
Liberal 75% 17%
Moderate 87% 6%
Conservative 90% 5%

“Regardless of ideology or demographic—Republican or Democrat, liberal or conservative, pro-life or pro-abortion rights—there is broad support for requiring every abortion clinic in Michigan to be both licensed and inspected to ensure the health of safety of women who regrettably choose the path of abortion,” said Rebecca Mastee, Policy Advocate for the Michigan Catholic Conference. “What’s most telling about this polling is that more than three quarters of women, including those who are Democrat and those who are pro-choice, as well as those ‘in between’ on the abortion question, overwhelmingly support the measure.”

House Bill 5711 passed the Michigan House of Representatives 70-39 on June 13 with bipartisan support and moved out of the Senate Judiciary Committee in August. The bill currently awaits action by the full Senate. HB 5711 rolls several bills, many of which have already been addressed either by the House, Senate or both, into one pro-life “omnibus” bill, and address the following areas of concern:

This survey was conducted by MRG and commissioned by the Michigan Catholic Conference. It sampled 600 likely voters (34 percent Democrat, 34 percent Independent and 30 percent Republican) and has a statistical margin of error of +/- 4 percent. The survey was conducted September 10-15, 2012 with all live interviews by phone; 20 percent by cell phone.

Michigan Catholic Conference is the official public policy voice of the Catholic Church in this state.

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