Majority of Americans support mandatory contraception coveragecomment (0)
December 13, 2012
The majority of adults in America believe businesses and organizations, even those with conflicting religious principles, should be required to provide coverage of contraception and birth control for their employees, according to a recent survey by LifeWay Research.
At issue is a mandate under the Health and Human Services’ (HHS) Affordable Care Act (also known as “ObamaCare”), which requires the coverage, even if it violates the employer’s religious convictions.
Dozens of organizations — predominately faith-based hospitals and charities, as well as business owners with religious objections — have filed suit claiming the HHS mandate violates the Constitution under the First Amendment Free Exercise of Religion Clause and the federal Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA).
According to the LifeWay Research survey, nearly two-thirds (63 percent) of American adults agree businesses should be required to provide their employees with free contraception and birth control, even if it runs counter to the owners’ religious principles. Twenty-eight percent disagree and 10 percent selected “Don’t Know.”
The opinions change somewhat when taking into consideration religious affiliation of the organization.
Fifty-three percent agree Catholic and other religious schools, hospitals and charities should be required to provide the coverage, while 33 percent disagree.
In considering whether nonprofits should be required to provide the coverage, 56 percent of adults agree and 32 percent disagree they should be required to follow the mandate even if it goes against their religious beliefs.
Demographically, responses to the LifeWay Research poll show Americans who never attend religious services are more likely to “Strongly Agree” (45 percent) nonprofits, Catholic and other religious schools, charities and hospitals should be forced to follow the mandate.
The percentage rises to 55 percent when considering businesses in general.
The survey shows women are more likely than men to “Strongly Agree” that all three organizational categories: businesses (48 percent vs. 37 percent); nonprofits (37 percent vs. 29 percent); Catholic and religious schools, hospitals and charities (36 percent vs. 26 percent) should provide the coverage.
Younger Americans are the least likely (less than 10 percent) to “Strongly Disagree” with businesses and organizations being required to follow the mandate.
“The religious freedom that the United States pioneered is not a freedom of belief, but a freedom to practice that faith,” said Ed Stetzer, president of LifeWay Research. “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.”