Center for American Progress

POLL: Majority of Small Business Owners Say Employers Should be Required to Offer Insurance that Covers Birth Control Regardless of Religious Beliefs
Press Release

POLL: Majority of Small Business Owners Say Employers Should be Required to Offer Insurance that Covers Birth Control Regardless of Religious Beliefs

Press Contacts

  • Chelsea Kiene

Washington, D.C. — Just more than a year after the U.S. Supreme Court’s Burwell v. Hobby Lobby, Inc. decision, a new poll released today by the Center for American Progress finds a majority of small business owners—62 percent—believes that employers should be required to offer health insurance that covers birth control, even if it conflicts with an employer’s religious beliefs. The poll comes just one week after the Departments of Health and Human Services, Treasury, and Labor issued final rules to ensure that employees at companies such as Hobby Lobby have access to birth control with no cost sharing, even if their employer refuses to cover birth control through employer-provided health insurance due to religious objections.

The poll, conducted April 16 to 24, 2015, by Greenberg Quinlan Rosner Research on behalf of the Center for American Progress and the Small Business Majority, also found that, among small business owners, 82 percent of Democrats, 49 percent of Republicans, and 64 percent of Independents believe that personal religious objections should not interfere with their employees’ access to contraception through employer-provided health insurance. As one of the first polls of employers themselves, these findings demonstrate bipartisan support for working women’s right to access reproductive services through company-provided insurance plans regardless of their employers’ beliefs.

“It’s not surprising that a majority of small business owners support covering birth control for employees even if it conflicts with an employer’s religious beliefs,” said Donna Barry, Director of the Women’s Health and Rights Program at the Center for American Progress. “Small business owners across the religious and ideological spectrum understand both the personal and financial benefits of protecting a women’s fundamental right to contraception without religious interference.”

Moreover, the poll found that a sizable majority—62 percent—of small business owners who identify as Catholic support employer-provided insurance coverage for contraception regardless of an employer’s religious convictions. Likewise, 53 percent of self-identifying Protestants and 59 percent of nondenominational Christians hold the same belief.

These poll findings indicate that support for corporate religious freedom furthers a false and illusory view of small business owners’ beliefs at the expense of working women. While the Hobby Lobby decision is still in effect, the fact remains that a majority of small business owners are fine with providing contraception for their employees, even if they have personal religious objections.

Read the full column: Small Business Owners are More Progressive Than the U.S. Supreme Court Thinks by Julisa McCoy and Donna Barry

See also: Infographic: Small Business Owners Support Contraception Insurance Coverage by Julisa McCoy and Donna Barry

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For more information or to speak with an expert, contact Chelsea Kiene at ckiene@americanprogress.org or 202.478.5328.

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