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Poll finds broad support for contraception access

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The controversy over the policy stems from religiously affiliated institutions such as Catholic schools. The order requires most employers to include contraception coverage in their workers' healthcare plans without a copay. Churches and houses of worship are exempt.

Religiously affiliated institutions don't have to provide the coverage directly; however, their insurance providers must offer it, still without a copay, and can't raise religious employers' premiums to cover the cost. 

But religious organizations have said that's not good enough. They say any employer should be able to exclude contraception from workers' health plans because of his or her religious beliefs.

Although opposition to contraception stems mostly from religious groups that also oppose abortion, Monday's poll says voters see them separately. Seventy-nine percent said lawmakers who oppose abortion should support contraception because it decreases the odds of unplanned pregnancy, the poll found.

Support for that idea was widespread across political parties, including 71 percent of Republicans and 80 percent of independents, according to the National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy.

The campaign also said 95 percent of adults — including 92 percent of Republicans — view contraception as a form of personal responsibility.