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What Women Think of the Core Issue in the Hobby Lobby Case

This was published as a Wall Street Journal Think Tank column on June 30, 2014.

The Supreme Court decision upholding Hobby Lobby’s ability to refuse to cover certain contraceptive services based on its owners’ religious beliefs has set off a wave of analysis of what the decision means. That will not be resolved anytime soon. But we do know what women think of the policy issue at the core of the case.

Overall, by a margin of 59% to 35%, women oppose the idea of letting companies deny coverage of contraceptives based on their owners’ religious beliefs. But women’s views on this issue–studied in the Kaiser Family Foundation Health Tracking Poll last month–differ by party, ideology and their religion.

White evangelical protestants, conservatives and women who are Republican are more supportive of Hobby Lobby’s position. Women who are liberal, Democrats, and protestant and Catholic are much more likely to oppose the company’s position.

Monday’s decision followed the court’s 5-4 conservative-liberal split. And just as women generally opposed Hobby Lobby’s position, all three female justices dissented from the majority opinion. Women’s opinion on the Hobby Lobby issue is summarized in this Kaiser Family Foundation chart:

 

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Filling the need for trusted information on national health issues, the Kaiser Family Foundation is a nonprofit organization based in Menlo Park, California.