Poll: Majority Opposes Employers Opting Out of Contraception Mandate

Ahead of next week's oral arguments before the U.S. Supreme Court, a majority of Americans oppose allowing employers to opt out from the health-care law's contraception requirement, according to the most recent NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll.

Fifty-three percent say employers should not be exempt from the requirement that their health plans offer birth control and other contraceptives even if they have religious objections, while 41 percent say they should be exempt.

On Tuesday, the U.S. Supreme Court will hear oral arguments in a case -- Sebelius vs. Hobby Lobby Stores -- to decide if for-profit companies like Hobby Lobby can refuse to offer mandated contraception coverage to its employees due to the owner's religious beliefs. (Religious organizations already are exempt from the contraception requirement.)

The NBC/WSJ poll finds some revealing differences to this issue by age, political party and religion.

By a 49 percent-to-40 percent margin, seniors believe employers should be exempt from the contraception requirement. In contrast, those ages 18-34 say businesses shouldn't be exempt by a 62 percent-to-33 percent margin.

Seventy-two percent of Democrats say employers should not be exempt, versus 59 percent of Republican who say they should be.

And among those who say religion is the single-most important thing in their lives, 70 percent say employers should be exempt. That’s compared with 79 percent of those who say religion isn’t important to them believe employers should not be exempt.

The NBC/WSJ poll was conducted March 5-9 of 1,000 adults (including 300 cellphone-only respondents), and it has a margin of error of plus-minus 3.1% percentage points.