Catholics favor healthcare contraception

Feb. 7, 2012 at 5:52 PM   |   Comments

WASHINGTON, Feb. 7 (UPI) -- Fifty-eight percent of U.S. Roman Catholics say employers should be required to provide employees with healthcare including contraception, a survey indicates.

However, the poll by the Public Religion Research Institute indicated among Catholic voters, support for this requirement is slightly lower at 52 percent compared with 55 percent of Americans overall who agreed employers should be required to provide their employees with healthcare plans that cover contraception and birth control at no cost.

Among other religious Americans, 61 percent of religiously unaffiliated Americans said employers should be required to cover contraception compared to 50 percent of white mainline Protestants and 38 percent white evangelical Protestants.

Politically, 73 percent of Democrats, 51 percent of political independents and 36 percent of Republicans agreed employer healthcare coverage should include contraception at no cost.

However, women were significantly more likely to favor free contraception through employee healthcare plans at 62 percent versus 47 percent of men, while 54 percent of women agreed religiously affiliated colleges and hospitals should provide this coverage versus 43 percent of men.

A majority of Catholics -- 52 percent versus 49 percent of Americans -- said religiously affiliated colleges and hospitals should provide coverage that includes contraception, but among other religious groups, 59 percent agreed.

However, 31 percent of white evangelical Protestants, versus 45 percent of white mainline Protestants, said religiously affiliated colleges and hospitals should provide coverage that included contraception.

The telephone survey of 1,009 U.S. adults was conducted Wednesday through Sunday and had a margin of error of 3.5. percentage points.

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