The Obama Administration’s conflict with the Catholic Church over requiring employers to have health insurance plans that cover birth control may wind up being more political than religious. In the latest Economist/YouGov Poll (Week of 2/11/2012), Catholics are evenly divided: 41% in favor, 42% opposed. Republican voters oppose the plan by more than three to one.
The issue is polarizing. Among Catholics who favor requiring covering birth control, there is opposition to exempting religious organizations. Knowing there is an exemption for religious organizations changes few minds among those who oppose coverage.
Overall, Americans would like to have the "morning after" pill readily available over the counter at drug stores. So would Catholics. The parties divide on this as well, though the issue is less polarizing than the birth control requirement.
Although the partisan divide appears bigger than the religious one, there are large differences between Catholics who regularly attend Mass (who oppose both proposals), and those who don’t (who favor both). These differences are especially apparent on the question of the morning after pill than on the question of coverage for birth control. Born-Again Protestants are even more negative when it comes to the morning after pill, opposing making it available by more than two to one.
Photo source: Press Association