YouGov claims a recent poll shows that “After video releases, opinion of Planned Parenthood little changed.” Buried at the end of their press release, however, is the real story.
The vast majority of Americans — a whopping 70 percent — have heard little to nothing about videos showing the involvement of Planned Parenthood in the harvesting and trafficking of human fetal organs. The revelations from the videos have led to federal and state investigations, calls to end the $530 million a year in taxpayer funding, and questions from human rights activists about the propriety of the practice.
Yet the media have so struggled to cover the story, much less cover it well, that one third of the public has heard literally nothing about them while another 38 percent have heard only a little. Democrats are particularly uninformed on the videos, with more than three out of four reporting they have heard little to nothing about the videos.
Of those who had heard at least a little about the videos, only 45 percent had seen any video, or even a clip from the video. But since only 68 percent of the population had even heard of the video, that means that relatively few Americans — 30.6 percent — had been exposed to even a portion of the video by the media. Again, Democrats were the least informed about the videos, with fewer than one in four — 23 percent — having been exposed by the media to any of the full videos, the edited videos, or even clips from the videos.
Even though so few people have even heard about the Planned Parenthood videos, and even fewer had witnessed any portion of them, pollsters have already seen a five percentage point drop in favorability for the abortion group, and a five percentage point increase in unfavorability for the group compared to prior to the first video’s release on July 14.
When YouGov polled Americans about their feelings on Planned Parenthood in March, 55 percent of respondents reported favorable views and 31 percent reported unfavorable views. After the first video’s release, those percentages changed to 52 and 30, respectively. Their most recent poll shows Planned Parenthood’s favorables have dropped to 50 percent and unfavorables have increased to 36 percent. This despite generally favorable coverage, including erroneous reports about the undercover journalists in the New York Times, of Planned Parenthood from allies in the media.
And among those who had heard even a little about the videos, a majority believed that Planned Parenthood is shown breaking the law in them, such as 53 percent of those aged 18-29. The pollsters asked respondents about their views on abortion but did not ask respondents for their general thoughts on human organ harvesting from aborted children.
The lack of media coverage of the Planned Parenthood videos is demonstrated in part from the results of another YouGov poll released the day prior. That one was about Cecil the Lion, whose death in Zimbabwe began to be reported in late July. Already, though, 54 percent of Americans polled reported that they’d heard “a lot” about the lion, with only 13 percent saying they’d heard nothing (compared to 32 percent who have heard nothing about the Planned Parenthood videos).