While Republicans have sought to frame President Obama's policy on employer-provided contraceptive coverage as an affront to religious freedom, the results of a Bloomberg National Poll released Wednesday showed that a majority of Americans view the debate as a women's health issue.
The poll showed that 62 percent viewed the debate as a matter of a woman's health and access to birth control, while 33 percent viewed it as a matter of religious liberty.
In another potential blow to Republican efforts to capitalize on the controversy, the poll found that 77 percent of Americans do not think birth control should be a part of the national political debate. Just 20 percent said it should be part of the debate.
The controversy stems from a mandate under the healthcare reform law that requires employers to provide women with access to contraceptive services.
While President Obama offered a compromise that would allow religious institutions opposed to the use of contraception to avoid directly paying for the services, Republicans claimed that it was still a violation of religious freedom.
The Bloomberg poll also found that a majority of those surveyed think conservative radio talk show host Rush Limbaugh should be fired for using the words "slut" and "prostitute" to describe a student who testified before the Senate about access to birth control at religious universities.
The poll showed that 53 percent said that Limbaugh should be fired based solely on the comments, while 42 percent said he should not be fired.
The survey of 1,002 adults was conducted March 8th through 11th and has a margin of error of plus or minus 3.1 percentage points.
by RTT Staff Writer
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