Pic by Ceridwn, via Wikimedia Commons

A new poll released today shows that six in ten Americans currently support a decision made by the Obama administration requiring health insurers to cover birth control. That decision has drawn fire from religious leaders and a handful of states, including Florida.

Kaiser Health News reports today:

Six in ten Americans, including Catholics, said they support a requirement by the Obama administration that health plans supply free contraceptives as a preventive benefit for women, according to the latest tracking poll by the Kaiser Family Foundation.

Women were divided, with 85 percent of Democrats and 67 percent of Independents supporting the requirement but only 42 percent of Republicans. Women across the political spectrum typically are closer together when it comes to supporting contraception rights.

“This is a time where the party attitudes about the role of government seemed to be a greater factor than necessarily being a woman,” said Mollyann Brodie, the foundation’s director of public opinion and survey research.

Religious groups have criticized the law, claiming it infringes on their religious beliefs by requiring them to provide health insurance to cover a service to which they are opposed. However, the birth control requirement includes an exemption for religious employees. 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.

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