Catholics on Religious Exemption

Support for a religious exemption to the contraceptive mandate in the U.S. health reform plan is stronger among Catholics than among the general population, according to a survey released on Feb. 14 by Pew Forum researchers. According to the survey, 55 percent of Catholics who have heard about the controversy support giving religious institutions that object to the use of contraceptives an exemption from the regulation, while 39 percent oppose such an exemption. The figures were reversed for respondents without a religious affiliation. Among Catholics who attend church at least once a week, 63 percent said they favored a religious exemption, while 25 percent said religious organizations should be required to cover contraception the same way as other employers. White evangelical Protestants were even more likely to support the religious exemption, with 68 percent in favor and 22 percent opposed.

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