Slim majority favors birth-control mandate

 

A narrow majority believes companies should be required to cover the cost of birth control for female employees, even if those companies cite religious objections, according to a CBS poll

The survey, released Tuesday night, found 51 percent believes companies and nonreligious organizations should be required to offer health coverage that includes the cost of birth control, regardless of religious objection. Another 42 percent said the company should be able to opt out if it has religious reservations. 

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Another 7 percent did not know. 

A slightly higher percent of women, 55 percent, said companies should not be able to opt out. 

At the same time, the Supreme Court is weighing whether two for-profit companies should be allowed to be exempt from a portion of the ObamaCare mandate that requires companies to provide free coverage for nearly 20 approved contraception methods.  

The court appeared split on the issue during oral arguments Tuesday morning. A decision is expected in June. 

Sixty-nine percent of Democrats and 50 percent of independents said companies should not be allowed to opt out. Sixty-five percent of Republicans thought that companies should be able to opt out to based on religious objections. 

A similar CBS-New York Times poll last December found 37 percent of people thought all companies should be required to cover birth control, regardless of religious objection. Another 55 percent said they should be allowed to opt out. 

When it comes to religious-affiliated organizations, 57 percent said those groups should be able to opt out of providing coverage they object. Another 35 percent said religious-affiliated groups should have to cover birth control. 

The mandate under the healthcare law allows exemptions for certain religious nonprofit groups and excludes houses of worship. 

The poll surveyed 1,097 people and has a 3 percentage point margin of error.

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