Poll: Defying Bishops, Catholics Support Obama Birth Control Rules

A majority of U.S. Catholics, according to a new poll by the Public Religion Research Institute, support the Obama administration's regulations requiring the coverage, without co-pay, of birth-control by employer-provided health benefit programs -- even when the employer is a hospital or university affiliated with the Roman Catholic Church.

Here's how it breaks down, according to the post on the PRRI Web site:

Roughly 6-in-10 Catholics (58%) believe that employers should be required to provide their employees with health care plans that cover contraception.

Among Catholic voters, support for this requirement is slightly lower at 52%.

Only half (50%) of white Catholics support this requirement, compared to 47% who oppose it.

But there's both good news and bad news for the Obama administration in this one. While a 52 percent of Catholics said they believed that even Catholic institutions should have to provide this benefit, only 45 percent of self-identified Catholic voters agreed with that statement. (Looks like somebody needs to amp up their GOTV efforts among Catholics.)

The other fascinating trend this poll confirms is one I've been pounding for years: there is no unified, monolithic "Catholic vote," as there was in the days of yore. Catholic opinion tends to break along lines of class, race and other demographics, in rough alignment with that of the general public.

Just check out this chart. When the question is asked in its most general form -- and not specifically about Catholic institutions -- 55 percent of all Americans agree that "all employers should be required to provide their employees with health-care plans that cover contraception or birth control at no cost." The percentage of Catholics who agree with that statement? The aforementioned 58 percent.

I'm sorry, your eminences, but you just don't have a "Catholic vote" to deliver.

 BC Employers Religion1 e1328631576475 Survey | Majority of Catholics Think Employers Should Be Required to Provide Health Care Plans that Cover Birth Control at No Cost

Read more about the Public Religion Research Institute poll here.

AlterNet / By Adele M. Stan

Posted at February 7, 2012, 7:11am

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