Mandate's morning-after pill provision has only 38 percent support

.- Mandatory insurance coverage of the “morning-after pill,” a key part of the Obama administration's contraception rule, has only 38 percent of likely voters' support according to a new survey.

A Feb. 20-21 telephone poll by Rasmussen Reports found that half of the country's likely voters opposed mandatory insurance coverage of emergency contraceptive drugs like “ella” and “Plan B,” which can cause an early-stage abortion by preventing embryo implantation.

Thirteen percent of the voting public said they were unsure whether the government should force insurers to provide the drugs without a co-pay, as they must do under Health and Human Services' rule finalized Feb. 10.

The president's morning-after pill requirement is even more unpopular with political independents, than it is with the voting public in general.

Among likely voters who did not identify as either Republicans or Democrats, the poll found only 31 percent support, and 54 percent opposition, to mandated coverage of “free” emergency contraception.

Support was also lower among self-identified Catholics, than in the general population. Only 33 percent of Catholic respondents supported the administration's plan to make insurers cover emergency contraception without any charge to the recipient.

Only 24 percent of Evangelicals, and 31 percent of other Protestants, supported the contraception mandate's morning-after pill provision.

Different attitudes toward abortion were also associated with support or opposition of the emergency contraception mandate. Those who identified as “pro-choice” supported the morning-after rule at a rate of 61 percent, while 79 percent opposition was found among those calling themselves “pro-life.”

Likely voters of both sexes had similar attitudes on the question of emergency contraception, which the Obama administration has sought to present as an important part of women's health care.

Men and women supported the emergency-contraception mandate at rates of 36 percent and 39 percent, respectively, while 51 percent of men and 48 percent of women said they opposed the provision.

While the contraception mandate has been touted by supporters as a benefit to the poor, its strongest support – at a rate of 49 percent – came from respondents making over $100,000 per year, the highest income bracket surveyed.

Those earning less than $20,000 annually, who fell into the survey's lowest income bracket, were actually less likely to support the morning-after pill policy than those in the top income range. They approved of the administration's policy at a rate of 44 percent.

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July 25, 2014

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