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Most Support Birth Control Mandate, Survey Shows

Image: Protesters rally at the steps of the Supreme Court in Washington as arguments begin today to challenge a part of the Affordable Care Act in Washington
Protesters rally at the steps of the Supreme Court during arguments to challenge the Affordable Care Act's requirement that employers provide coverage for contraception as part of an employee's health care. A new survey shows 69 percent of Americans support the requirement.Reuters

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Most Americans — 69 percent — support the requirement that health insurance plans pay for birth control, a new survey shows.

The 2010 Affordable Care Act requires health insurers to pay for contraception as part of 10 essential benefits, including vaccines and cancer screenings. It’s the most controversial requirement, with religious groups, some conservative commentators and some employers objecting.

The Supreme Court is expected to rule by June on one appeal by two employers who say paying for certain forms of birth control interferes with their religious beliefs.

But the survey of more than 2,000 people, conducted by Dr. Michelle Moniz and colleagues at the University of Michigan, suggests the mandate is popular.

“Overall, 69 percent of respondents supported mandated coverage of birth control medications in health plans, with significantly higher odds of support among women, black, and Hispanic respondents,” they wrote in a report published in the Journal of the American Medical Association.

Free coverage of contraception for most health plans started in 2012.

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