The U.S. Supreme Court began hearings yesterday on the request to opt out of the contraceptive mandate on the basis of religious principles. Churches and religious organization can opt out, but the issue in front of the court concerns for-profit corporations whose owners object on religious grounds. The Supreme Court may not pay much attention to public opinion, but what do Americans have to say about this issue?
The latest results come from a new NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll conducted just before the high court hearing. Here’s the question:
“Under the new health care law, health insurance plans are required to cover preventive health services, including prescription birth control. Religious organizations are exempt from the requirement that their health plans cover prescription birth control. Do you think other employers who object to birth control and other contraceptives on religious grounds should or should not be exempt from the requirement that their health plans cover prescription birth control?”
How would you answer it?
A majority of Americans (53%) answered that the employers in question should not be exempt from covering birth control in their employee insurance plans. About four of ten (41%) disagree, saying that employers like Hobby Lobby (one of the cases before the court) should be exempt on religious grounds. Only 6% say they are not sure.
Compared to older Americans, young adults (ages 18–34) are much more likely to say that employers shouldn’t be able to opt out on the basis of religious objections. This is yet another way that the values and attitudes of Millennials are distinctive and different from older Americans—differences that we discussed recently on OurValues.org.
How would you answer the NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll?
Have your opinions about the contraceptive mandate changed or stayed the same over time?