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Most Americans Support Mandate for Employer-Covered Contraception

 

In a reversal of an Obama-era policy, the Trump administration announced that it is ending the federal mandate for employers to include contraceptive coverage in the health care plans offered to its employees, expanding exemptions for employers who cite religious objections to the policy . Despite this move, the requirement that employers provide full-time employees with health insurance covering contraception is broadly popular among the public.

Two-thirds (67 percent) of Americans favor requiring employers to provide employees with health care plans that cover contraception or birth control at no cost. Only three in ten (30 percent) oppose this policy.

Views regarding contraception requirements for employer-sponsored health care coverage vary substantially across party lines. More than eight in ten (84 percent) Democrats say the express support for this policy while fewer than half (48 percent) of Republicans agree.

Support for employer-provided health care coverage that includes contraception at no cost transcends racial and ethnic differences. Nearly three-quarters (73 percent) of black Americans, and more than six in ten white (66 percent) and Hispanic Americans (62 percent), favor requiring employers to provide employees with health care plans that cover contraception or birth control at no cost.

Notably, there is support among all major religious groups although the level of agreement varies substantially. A majority of white Catholics (53 percent), white evangelical Protestants (54 percent), and nonwhite Protestants (58 percent) support a mandate that employers offer health care plans that cover contraception. White mainline Protestants and unaffiliated Americans are the most likely to hold this view, with more than three-quarters (75 percent and 81 percent, respectively) stating that they favor such a policy.

Women show more support for this policy than men, although majorities of both express support. Nearly three-quarters (73 percent) of women, along with six in ten (60 percent) men, believe employers should be required to provide employees with health care plans that cover contraception or birth control at no cost.

The issue sharply divides Americans by generation. Eight in ten (80 percent) young adults (age 18-29) favor requiring employer-provided health care plans to cover contraception, while substantially fewer (54 percent) seniors also support this policy.