Blackburn criticizes Vandy Planned Parenthood polling

U.S. Rep. Marsha Blackburn, R-Tenn., has accused Vanderbilt University of trying to advance a political agenda through the handling of a question on Planned Parenthood, reports The Tennessean.

According to the survey, Tennesseans support the state funding many of the health care services provided by Planned Parenthood. Blackburn says the poll is flawed because it doesn’t mention that abortion is also funded by the organization as part of the questioning of those surveyed.

“I am disappointed that an institute such as Vanderbilt is publishing a poll that has such a thinly veiled agenda. Vanderbilt has a responsibility to educate women, men and children about access to quality health care,” Blackburn said in a statement to The Tennessean.

“Our community health centers provide the services mentioned and many more important health care services, including dental, mental health care, and coordination of health care — many of those services are provided at no cost or low cost to Tennesseans. Vanderbilt missed an opportunity here.”

Blackburn was recently named leader of the “Select Investigative Panel on Infant Lives,” a congressional panel investigating abortion providers.

The Vanderbilt Poll found at least two-thirds of the 512 people surveyed support the Tennessee state government giving Planned Parenthood funding for the following services:

Preventative care screenings, such as breast exams
HIV testing or counseling
Testing or treatment of other sexually transmitted diseases
Limited primary care, such as flu shots
Pregnancy testing
Pregnancy counseling
Birth control or contraception.

…John Geer, co-director of the poll, said some of the results “absolutely” would have been different if people had been asked about Planned Parenthood in the context of abortions.

The Vanderbilt Poll also asked a separate sample group of 501 people the same questions related to services, referencing health care organizations in general, as opposed to Planned Parenthood in particular. The results showed slightly more support for funding the same services listed above. Overall, though, support didn’t really differ too much when people were asked about a generic health care organization or Planned Parenthood specifically.