Poll: Most Americans say employers should cover contraception

Most Americans say that employers — even religious ones — should provide birth control coverage to their employees, according to … Continued

Most Americans say that employers — even religious ones — should provide birth control coverage to their employees, according to a survey released on Monday (Dec. 3).

The poll by LifeWay Research also showed that almost two-thirds of Americans (63 percent) believe businesses should be required to provide the coverage for free, even if contraception conflicts with the owner’s religious ethics.

As part of the Affordable Care Act, the 2010 health care reform law, President Obama issued regulations that require most employers, including some religious ones like Catholic colleges and hospitals, to provide birth control coverage. The administration has said it may expand the policy to accommodate additional religious organizations.

In the meantime, however, dozens of Catholic dioceses, as well as Christian colleges and business owners who oppose contraception on moral or religious grounds, have sued to block the mandate from taking effect.

Last Wednesday (Nov. 28), a federal appeals court in St. Louis sided with a Catholic business owner by issuing a temporary injunction temporarily halting the mandate. Federal judges in Michigan and Denver have also issued temporary injunctions blocking the mandate, according to Reuters.

Most Americans, however, believe that businesses (63 percent), nonprofit organizations (56 percent) and even Catholic and other religious schools, hospitals and charities (53 percent) should provide free birth control coverage to employees.

Women are more likely than men to “strongly agree” that such coverage should be provided, LifeWay found.

“The American public appears unaware or unconcerned that some religious organizations and family businesses indicate fear of losing the freedom to practice their faith under the new healthcare regulations,” said Ed Stetzer, president of LifeWay Research, which is affiliated with the Southern Baptist Convention.

The online survey of 1,191 adult Americans was conducted Nov. 14-16, 2012. The sampling error is less than plus or minus 2.9 percentage points, according to LifeWay.

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  • amelia45

    “The American public appears unaware or unconcerned that some religious organizations and family businesses indicate fear of losing the freedom to practice their faith under the new healthcare regulations,” said Ed Stetzer.

    On the contrary. The American public believes that where there is a religious conflict between two people, it is best to leave it UP TO THE INDIVIDUAL. If the business man gets to only cover what he finds religiously acceptable, he denies the individual worker the ability to make a choice because the employee cannot afford it without health insurance coverage.

    What the Catholic Church, and, evidently, Mr. Stetzer, wnat is the religious freedom to impose their religious beliefs on others. To my way of thinking, that is religious tyranny. It is also class warfare, since it is the bosses who get to dictate how the employees are to live, even in their religious practices.

  • B. Cuz

    The false narrative is the notion that women will be denied contraception if someone else doesn’t pay for it. The President has cynically exploited old notions of the dependent woman, for the benefit of Big Pharma.

  • Catken1

    So, B. Cuz, if your Gaian employer denies you coverage for pregnancies and children beyond the number they deem acceptable, lest they have to fund extra burdens on Mother Earth, that should be just fine with you. After all, it’s not as if you will be denied more children if your employer doesn’t help pay your costs, right?

    Compensation you get from your employer is not charity. It is earned. And a woman is not being “dependent” or “weak” by demanding that she not have her health care benefits cut to suit her employer’s religious preferences, any more than a man is “weak” or “dependent” if he complained that his employer funds breast cancer treatment but not prostate cancer treatment. Nor are any of us being “weak” or “dependent” by demanding that religious employers not foist off the extra insurance and societal costs of unplanned and unwanted pregnancies on us so that they can pressure their employees to follow their religious rules and avoid much cheaper contraception.