In our February Religion & Politics Tracking Survey, we found that a majority (55%) of Americans agree that employers should be required to provide their employees with health care plans that cover contraception and birth control at no cost. Probing deeper into Americans’ feelings on this issue, we asked in our March PRRI/RNS Religious News Survey about what types of employers should be required to provide contraception coverage to their employees at no cost.
We found that with the single exception of churches or other places of worship, majorities of Americans believe that employers should be required to provide their employees with health care plans that cover contraception at no cost.
- Roughly 6-in-10 Americans say that publicly held corporations (62%) and religiously affiliated hospitals (57%) should be required to provide employees with health care plans that cover contraception.
- A slim majority of Americans believe that religiously affiliated colleges (54%), privately owned small businesses (53%), and religiously affiliated social service agencies (52%) should be required to provide employees with health care plans that cover contraception.
- Less than half (42%) of Americans say churches and other places of worship should be required to provide this coverage to their employees.
In a Huffington Post piece, Richard Cizik, former vice president of the National Association of Evangelicals (NAE) and President of The New Evangelical Partnership for the Common Good, agrees with most of the public in supporting both the contraception mandate and Obama’s more recent compromise to allow religiously affiliated institutions to provide free contraception coverage for employees directly through the insurers rather than the institution itself. Cizik notes that the compromise represents, “a common-ground solution that protects both religious liberty and women’s health. Christian leaders concerned about protecting religious liberty rather than broadly restricting contraception should be satisfied with this accommodation.”
White evangelical Protestants represent the only religious group that opposes requiring any type of employer to provide their employees with no cost contraception coverage. A majority of white evangelicals believe that neither secular nor religiously affiliated employers should be required to provide health care plans that cover contraception, while a majority of white mainline Protestants, Catholics, minority Protestants, and the religiously unaffiliated believe that most types of employers should be required to provide contraception coverage.
For a deeper look into American’s beliefs about the contraception debate, as well as to read additional survey findings, click here.
To read more from Reverend Cizik, head to the Huffington Post Religion blog.