Almost 60 percent of Americans believe that some faith-based employers should not be forced to provide insurance coverage for contraceptives for female workers, according to a New York Times/CBS News poll.
In addition, just over half of those polled support the rights of all employers to opt out of providing such coverage, reports CNSNews.com
The joint poll, released Tuesday, measured public opinion in the light of the Obama administration’s recent mandate that employers cover the cost of contraception, abortifacients, and sterilization for female employees.
The survey was “not entirely accurate,” CNSNews.com noted, because it asked only about birth control and did not acknowledge that the mandate includes sterilizations and drugs that induce abortions.
When asked about religiously affiliated employers, such as a hospital or university, 57 percent of those interviewed agreed that such institutions should be allowed to opt out of covering birth control “based on religious or moral objections.” Only 36 percent said such employers should be required to provide coverage. The remaining 7 percent responded that they don’t know or the answer depends on circumstances.
Asked whether any employers should be able to refuse to fund birth control, 51 percent agreed. Only 40 percent said all employers should be required to provide coverage, and the remaining 8 percent responded either did not know or said it depends.
Catholics, conservatives, and even some Democrats have denounced the Department of Health and Human Services mandate as a war on women.
The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops also have decried the regulation as an "unprecedented attack" on religious liberty. Several bishops have written letters to the faithful declaring, “We cannot ─ we will not ─ comply with this unjust law."
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