Ignoring a consensus on contraception


Critics of the White House’s policy on contraception access have been pretty aggressive of late, with a coordinated attack both on the policy and President Obama’s compromise, but the campaign has failed miserably to persuade the public.

The latest New York Times/CBS News poll included a straightforward question on this:

“Do you support or oppose a recent federal requirement that private health insurance plans cover the full cost of birth control for their female patients?”

Support: 66%
Oppose: 26%
Don’t Know: 8%

And what about a requirement on religiously-affiliated employers to cover contraception in their health insurance plans? Support drops a little, but it’s still 61%. I thought the inclusion of the phrase “federal requirement” might affect the results a bit, but apparently not.

By the reasoning of many congressional Republicans, nearly two-thirds of the country likes contraception access so much, they’re willing to endorse an outrageous assault on religious liberty.

All kidding aside, these results are consistent with other recent polls, all of which point in the same direction: the American mainstream agrees with the administration on this issue.

And yet, we can still expect to see a vote in the Senate today on the odious Blunt Amendment, championed by Missouri Sen. Roy Blunt (R), which would allow all private-sector employers to deny any health services that businesses might find morally objectionable, including access to contraception.

On-the-fence senators, concerned about an election-year culture war, might want to take a look at the polling in advance of the vote.

Update: Greg Sargent has some additional details, including the fact that self-identified Roman Catholics agree with Obama’s line, 67% to 25%, and even a majority of self-identified Republicans feel the same way.

Ignoring a consensus on contraception