By Sam Baker - 10/17/12 07:11 PM EDT
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.