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Religion News: 49% say religious hospitals, colleges should offer contraception coverage
("GateHouse News Service," February 16, 2012)

USA - A national survey from the Public Religion Research Institute explored the issue of religion and the Obama administration’s mandate for coverage of contraception under health care insurance plans offered by employers.

There are major religious, generational and political divisions regarding whether an employer should be required to provided health care plans that cover contraception at no cost to the employee.

Here are some of the major findings:

- Nearly half (49 percent) of Americans say that religiously affiliated colleges and hospitals should be required to provide their employees with health care plans that cover contraception or birth control at no cost. Forty-six percent say they should not have to provide this type of coverage.

- Among religious Americans, 61 percent of the religiously unaffiliated believe that employers should be required to provide their employees with health care plans that cover contraception, compared with 50 percent of white mainline Protestants and 38 percent of white evangelical Protestants.

- A majority of all Catholics (52 percent) say that religiously affiliated colleges and hospitals should be required to provide coverage that includes contraception.

- Only 41 percent of white Catholics support this requirement, compared with 58 percent who oppose it.

- Among other religious Americans, 59 percent of the unaffiliated say that religiously affiliated colleges and hospitals should be required to provide coverage that includes contraception, compared with 31 percent of white evangelical Protestants. White mainline Protestants are about evenly divided (45 percent say that hospitals and colleges should be required to provide coverage, 48 percent say they should not).

- Strong majorities of white evangelicals (73 percent), white mainline Protestants (64 percent) and Catholics (59 percent) believe that churches and other places of worship should not be required to provide contraception coverage.


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