Catholic World News News Feature
US public-- Catholics included-- strongly favor contraception, poll finds June 23, 2006
Most American adults support free access to contraceptives, favor sale of the "morning after" pill, and believe that the distribution of contraceptives will decrease the incidence of abortion, according to a new Wall Street Journal/Harris Interactive poll.
The survey found that no significant difference between Catholics and other Americans on questions involving contraception. But respondents who identified themselves as "born-again Christians" were less favorably disposed toward contraception.
The poll found vast majorities supporting the propositions that people should have more information about birth control and that access to birth control will limit the number of abortions. (Those ideas were endorsed by 89% and 81%, respectively, of those responding.) Nearly three-fourths (73%) of the respondents said that birth control devices should be made available to those who cannot pay for them.
More than half of the 2,879 people polled (58%) said that the "morning-after" pill should be available in pharmacies, and even more-- 62%-- would deny pharmacists the right to refuse to sell the pill.
The survey found Catholic attitudes fully in line with those of the general public. Of the respondents who identified themselves as Catholics, 88% supported easy access to birth-control information, and 53% favored sales of the "morning-after" pill.
"Born-again Christians" constituted the only religious group which disapproved of making the "morning-after" pill available in pharmacies; only 39% of that religious bloc favored over-the-counter sales. And 89% of the born-again Christians favored abstinence as the best means of preventing teen pregnancies.
(Remarkably, 25% of the general public said that abstinence is not the best means of preventing pregnancy. The survey did not give respondents the opportunity to name a better method.)