Catholics for Choice and the ACLU commissioned a new poll that shows that large majorities of Americans — and Catholics specifically — oppose policies that allow religious businesses, organizations and individuals to deny contraception coverage to their employees or customers. The key findings:
The great majority of Americans (81 percent) says, “The law should not allow companies or other institutions to use religious beliefs to decide whether to offer a service to some people and not others.”
Sixty-nine percent of Americans think it is wrong for a university to deny birth control coverage. An equal number of Catholics (68 percent) objects, although much of the opposition to this healthcare provision came from Catholic leaders. Seventy-seven percent of Americans, and an equal proportion of Catholics, object to pharmacies refusing to fill birth control prescriptions.
Eighty-seven percent of Americans (and a similar percentage of Catholics), say that a doctor should not be allowed to withhold information about fetal defects for fear a woman might consider an abortion. Sixty-eight percent of Americans, and 66 percent of Catholics, say it is wrong for a doctor to refuse to refer for an abortion.
Sixty-two percent of Americans and 59 percent of Catholics oppose allowing a Catholic hospital to decline to perform an abortion that is medically necessary to protect a woman’s health.
Eighty-eight percent of Americans and 86 percent of Catholics believe voters don’t have an obligation to follow a Catholic bishop’s recommendation on how to vote. Seventy-nine percent of Americans and 75 percent of Catholics believe Catholic politicians don’t have an obligation to follow the hierarchy’s directives.
This is good news.