By Hillary Senour
A recent national poll found that 50 percent of Americans oppose the Obama administration’s mandate forcing religious groups to cover contraception in health insurance plans.
The Feb. 8 Rasmussen Reports telephone poll showed that only 39 percent of Americans think the government should require Catholic institutions to pay for “birth control measures” even if Catholics are morally opposed to it. Ten percent of those who responded said they were undecided.
The analysis also indicated that 65 percent of Catholic voters oppose the mandate, along with 62 percent of Evangelical Christians and 50 percent of other Protestant denominations.
Over one third of people practicing other faiths oppose the Health and Human Services mandate.
The poll comes amid a storm of criticism over secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius’ Jan. 20 announcement that virtually all employers will soon be required to purchase health insurance plans that cover contraceptives – including abortion-inducing drugs – and sterilization.
It also follows a Feb. 7 Public Religion Research Institute analysis which claimed that only 52 percent of voting Catholics oppose the mandate.
Catholic League president Bill Donohue called the Public Religion Research Institute poll “flawed” because the questions failed to mention that the government would place sanctions on non-compliant organizations and that the mandate includes the coverage of abortifacients, not just contraception.
“In short,” Donohue said, “the question was dishonest…wait until Catholics find out what’s really at stake.”
Donohue criticized the Obama administration’s mandate and said that it is “just an opening for mandating abortion in every healthcare plan.”
The Rasmussen poll indicated that 77 percent of those polled believe individuals should have the right to choose between different types of health insurance plans, while only nine percent disapproved of an individual’s ability to choose.
The same poll indicated that the majority of Americans, 54 percent, believe the cost of health insurance will increase if insurance companies are required to cover all government-approved contraceptives. Only 21 percent believe there would be no change in cost.