ALASKA — New poll results reveal that access to birth control is a winning issue for an overwhelming majority of women voters, who are closely following the conversation around the Supreme Court’s ruling in favor of Hobby Lobby because it is so deeply grounded in their personal lives. Nearly three out of four women say this issue is important to them personally. Emphasizing the important role birth control will play in midterm elections this November, 57 percent of women voters say they would be more likely to support a candidate who opposes allowing employers to refuse to cover birth control. This is especially impactful for young women, African Americans, and Latinas.
The poll of women voters between the ages of 18 and 55, conducted by Hart Research Associates and commissioned by Planned Parenthood Action Fund, also reveals that this critical segment of the electorate is closely following and highly motivated by the issue of so-called “religious objections” that allow employers to deny women coverage of birth control.
You can view the polling memo here: http://goo.gl/JDgPJI
To ensure that women have access to the full range of birth control methods without their bosses, politicians, or judges getting in the way, Senator Mark Begich championed the “Not My Boss’ Business” bill on July 9. The bill received bipartisan support of 56 Senators, including Senator Lisa Murkowski, but failed to get the necessary 60 votes to move forward.
All three of Begich’s opponents in the November election – Mead Treadwell, Dan Sullivan, and Joe Miller – have expressed agreement with the Supreme Court’s deeply unpopular ruling in favor of Hobby Lobby.
“These results make it clear that access to affordable birth control will be a motivating issue for key groups of women voters in the election. The news of the Hobby Lobby decision has reached far beyond the Beltway — and women are paying close attention. Women voters identify an array of reasons for opposing the Hobby Lobby decision — including women’s right to make these personal decisions for themselves without interference from their employers, as well as basic fairness concerns that birth control would be singled out, while vasectomies and Viagra are still covered,” said Geoff Garin, president of Hart Research Associates.
“This poll shows that women are focused on the Hobby Lobby ruling; they’re angry about it, and they’re going to vote based on it this November. The Hobby Lobby decision has lit a fuse that cannot be put out. Plain and simple: this is an issue of basic economic and health care equality for women and their families and will be a rallying call this November. Planned Parenthood Votes Northwest is proud to be supporting someone like Mark Begich who has truly taken a stand for Alaska women,” said Elaine Rose, CEO of Planned Parenthood Votes Northwest.
KEY FINDINGS CONFIRM WOMEN ARE WATCHING:
- 72% of women voters describe this issue as something that is very or fairly important to them personally. This number increases to 76% for unmarried women and 83% for African Americans, Latinas, and women under the age of 30.
- 68% of women voters say that elected leaders that support the Hobby Lobby ruling are out of touch with them and the everyday lives of women.
- 71% of women voters say elected leaders that support the Hobby Lobby ruling are focused on the wrong issues and priorities.
- 57% of women voters say they would be more likely to support a candidate who opposes allowing employers to refuse to cover birth control.
- Among women who say they’re following news about the upcoming midterm elections (the group that is at this time more likely to vote this fall), fully 78% describe this as a very or fairly important personal issue.
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