Poll: Americans Oppose Obama Ending Ban on Funds to Overseas Groups Backing Abortion

A Gallup Poll finds Obama's executive order ending the Mexico City Policy is unpopular.

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By Dan Gilgoff, God & Country

A recent Gallup Poll asked Americans about seven major actions President Obama has taken so far and found 66 percent or more support for all but two: his executive order to close Guantánamo Bay prison and lifting the ban on federal funds for groups that endorse or provide abortion overseas. Lifting the ban, known as the Mexico City Policy, was by far Obama's least popular move, with just 35 percent approval. From Gallup:

...Obama's decision to reverse the prohibition on funding for overseas family-planning providers may be the least popular thing he has done so far. This was an executive order that forbade federal government money from going to overseas family-planning groups that provide abortions or offer abortion counseling. Fifty-eight percent of Americans disapprove of Obama's decision to lift this ban, while only 35% approve of it. The ban on federal funds to these groups was put in place by Ronald Reagan, but lifted by Bill Clinton. George W. Bush re-instituted the ban after taking office in 2001, but Obama has once again lifted it.

The abortion and Guantanamo Bay prison decisions are especially unpopular among Republicans; only 8% approve of the former and 11% of the latter. But these are also the least popular decisions among independents and Democrats as well, though a majority of Democrats still approve of both.

The poll didn't rank the importance of Obama's decision issues to Americans. But these results suggest that when it comes to the White House and abortion, even an in-the-weeds policy change like icing the Mexico City Policy can have political implications way beyond the conservative antiabortion movement.