And Catholics are not in tune with their church's teachings about it. CNN:
Half of all Americans say they oppose the Obama administration's new policy concerning employer-provided health insurance plans and their coverage of contraceptive services for female employees including those at religiously affiliated institutions, according to a new national survey.
The push by the White House has been sharply criticized by Catholic Church officials, and many political pundits have said that the controversy could hurt President Barack Obama's re-election chances with Catholic voters. But a CNN/ORC International poll released Thursday also indicates that the vast majority of Catholic Americans say they don't always follow church teachings on such issues as abortion and birth control, and few Americans Catholics believe artificial means of birth control are wrong.
According to the survey, 50% of the public disapproves of the Obama administration policy, with 44% saying they approve of the plan. The margin is right at the edge of the poll's sampling error.
Surveys on this topic tell a mixed story because many Americans know little about the issue. Recent CBS and Fox polls indicate support for the new policy, using questions that describe the new policy in some detail. But in the CNN poll, when asked their opinion of the Obama policy with no details spelled out, support was much less and a large partisan divide emerged. A recent Pew poll also suggests Americans are closely divided, and that poll may hold the key to the differences. Nearly four in ten Americans say they have heard nothing at all about this controversy.
The left has been crowing that this is a "wedge" issue and will redound to Obama's benefit in the fall. It's true that the vast majority of American women have taken the pill at one time or another in their lives (82% according to a CDC study released last year). But the conscience issue has been poorly explained to most Americans and if the GOP chose to do so, it could probably turn the issue around and make Obama appear to be an overreaching villain.
Another study found that 98% of American Catholic women do not follow the Church's teachings on contraception. But that doesn't mean they don't take the attack on conscience by the Obama administration seriously.
This issue could be a plus for the Republicans if they choose to educate the public about exactly what the Obama administration is proposing.