UCF students protest Congress’ effort to fight the birth control mandate (Pic via Anna Eskamani)

Despite the Catholic Church’s efforts to frame the federal government’s decision requiring health insurers to cover birth control as a matter of “religious freedom,” a new poll shows that almost 70 percent of women believe the decision was a “matter of women’s health, not religious freedom.”

Bloomberg reports:

Americans overwhelmingly regard the debate over President Barack Obama’s policy on employer-provided contraceptive coverage as a matter of women’s health, not religious freedom, rejecting Republicans’ rationale for opposing the rule. More than three-quarters say the topic shouldn’t even be a part of the U.S. political debate.

More than six in 10 respondents to a Bloomberg National Poll — including almost 70 percent of women — say the issue involves health care and access to birth control, according to the survey taken March 8-11.

Religious groups– including the Catholic Church– have criticized the decision, claiming it infringes on their religious beliefs by requiring them to provide health insurance to cover a service to which they are morally opposed. The birth control requirement includes an exemption for religious employees and President Obama recently extended that exemption to religious organizations — including faith-based hospitals. Despite the accommodations, seven states – including Florida – are now suing the federal government over the decision, claiming it violates citizens’ First Amendment rights.

Republican federal lawmakers have attempted to pass legislation that would allow insurance providers to opt out of providing any medical services they are opposed to for moral or religious reasons. A Catholic political action group even created an ad to promote the measure, which critics have called “blatant attempts to redefine religious liberty as the ability to impose one’s religious beliefs and convictions on other people.”

A poll released earlier this month found that most Americans support a requirement that health plans supply free contraceptives as a preventive benefit for women.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You May Also Like

How can less prescription drug monitoring lead to fewer pill mills?

Greg Giordano, a legislative aide to state Sen. Mike Fasano, R-New Port Richey, had this to say about an article posted on the Florida House website that misleadingly quotes studies on the effectiveness of prescription drug monitoring programs: By selectively quoting from the study the House reveals its unwillingness to acknowledge the potential value of the PDMP here in Florida.

Deepwater Horizon deaths highlight ongoing safety concerns at oil rigs and refineries

The Florida legislature is preparing to debate placing an offshore drilling ban on statewide ballots this November, in response to the unfolding oil spill crisis off the Louisiana coast. But aside from environmental and economic concerns, Floridians are also weighing the loss of 11 workers in the April 24 explosion on BP’s offshore rig Deepwater Horizon — the event that triggered the spill.

Obama administration approves BP’s plan to drill in the Gulf of Mexico

The Obama administration has approved BP's first plan to drill for oil in the gulf since last year's Deepwater Horizon disaster, which left 11 dead and damaged the gulf ecosystem and the economies of the states that border it. Representatives for the Gulf Restoration Network say the decision is problematic, considering the fact that comprehensive safety legislation has yet to be passed through Congress.