89% of U.S. adults say birth control moral

May 23, 2012 at 10:58 PM
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PRINCETON, N.J., May 23 (UPI) -- Almost 89 percent of U.S. adults -- and 82 percent of Catholic adults -- say birth control is morally acceptable, a Gallup Poll indicates.

Gallup's Values and Beliefs survey of 1,024 U.S. adults, conducted May 3-6 found 90 percent of non-Catholics agree birth control is morally acceptable.

Birth control has become controversial in light of the pushback from some Catholic leaders and institutions on the portion of the 2010 Affordable Care Act that required all institutions, including Catholic ones, to offer birth control as part of employee healthcare plans, Gallup officials said.

The Obama administration has proposed a solution that offers such institutions a technical way around this requirement, but several Catholic dioceses and institutions -- including the University of Notre Dame and Catholic University -- filed a lawsuit Monday against the government challenging the requirement.

"Catholic leaders are no doubt aware that many of their parishioners use birth control, but these data underscore the divide between official church teaching and Catholics' day-by-day behaviors," Gallup officials said.

The issue of birth control tops the list of morally acceptable behavior across the 18 issues tested in this year's poll. At the bottom of the list was the issue of married men and women having an affair, which only 7 percent found morally acceptable.

The survey's margin of error is 4 percentage points.

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