December 4, 2012
Most Americans Disagree with Exempting Religious Employers from Contraception Mandate
LifeWay survey finds widespread support for free birth control under Obama Administration's Affordable Care Act.
A new poll from LifeWay Research indicates that the majority of Americans favor employer-provided free contraceptives—even if those employers are religious.
According to LifeWay, more than 6 in 10 American adults surveyed agree that "businesses should be required to provide their employees with free contraception and birth control, even if it runs counter to the owners' religious principles." If the organization is Catholic, more than 5 in 10 (53 percent) still said the employer should be required to provide such coverage.
LifeWay Research president Ed Stetzer said the survey asked only about "contraception," not "abortifacient [abortion-inducing] contraception," which has been a sticking point for Hobby Lobby, Wheaton College, and other evangelical organizations that have filed suit against the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and its mandate.
Stetzer wrote on his blog that the research was motivated by a desire to understand whether or not people support religious employers suing HHS. The data indicate that those organizations may face an uphill battle in convincing the American public that religious freedoms are worth defending.
"My concern is that the American public appears unaware or unconcerned that some religious organizations and family businesses indicate fear of losing the freedom to practice their faith under the new healthcare regulations," Stetzer wrote on his blog.
CT has previously covered the many lawsuits against the HHS by evangelical plaintiffs. CT also previously reported in 2011 when New York passed a same-sex marriage law that prompted traditional-marriage supporters to shift their focus to religious freedom.