Obama touts contraception policy amid post-debate focus on women

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Obama frequently mentions his contraception policy on the stump. But his comments Wednesday came not only on the heels of the debate, but also a poll showing that his stance on birth control is a winning issue with female voters.

A USA Today-Gallup poll earlier this week showed Obama and Romney tied among likely female voters — an enormous gain for Romney, and a finding that the Obama campaign has disputed. The same poll, though, also showed that despite attacks from the Catholic church, the administration's contraception policy is popular with women.

Thirty-one percent of female voters said birth control policy would be "extremely important" in influencing their vote. And Obama held a 21-point advantage on the issue.

The administration's policy requires most employers to cover birth control in their employees' health plans without charging a co-pay or deductible. Churches and houses of worship are exempt.

Religious-affiliated institutions like Catholic hospitals do not have to directly offer or pay for contraception coverage; their employees will be able to obtain contraception through the insurance company, still without any cost-sharing.