Contraceptive Coverage Is A Woman's Issue: They Favor Coverage By 14 Points

February 08, 2013, 2:00 PM GMT+0

(Week of 2/2/2013) The importance of health insurance coverage for contraception is more of a gender issue than a religious one: in the latest Economist/YouGov Poll Americans support requiring employers to provide health care plans that cover contraception, but that plurality support comes only because of the opinions of women. Men divide closely on whether contraception should be a required part of health care coverage.

One year ago, there was actually somewhat more support for the requirement. But men were still divided in their preference. Last February 47% of all Americans favored coverage, and 30% opposed it.

The parties have become somewhat more polarized on this issue: Democratic support has risen five points; Republican opposition has grown by 11 points. There is also an age gap. Those between the ages of 18 and 45, many of whom are currently in their child-bearing years, favor coverage. Older Americans oppose it, particularly those 65 and older. Senior citizens oppose coverage by more than three to one.

The gender gap is even more stark when it comes to whether or not to exempt religious organizations from such a rule: men say they should be exempt, women disagree.

As for Catholics, they are evenly divided on whether or not there should be mandatory health care coverage for contraception. However, by 42% to 34%, Catholics would like to have an exemption given to religiously-affiliated employers.

How religious one is appears to be more important than what religion one follows. Among all those who say religion is very important in their lives, whether they are Catholic, Protestant or another religion, contraceptive coverage is opposed 46% to 37%.