News Contraception

Biased Poll in Oklahoma Used to Justify Hobby Lobby Suit Against Contraception Mandate

Robin Marty

An attempt to skew results still only receives a small majority of people in favor of overturning the contraception mandate.

The lawsuit by Oklahoma-based retailer and corporation Hobby Lobby is the largest non-Catholic based suit against the Affordable Care Act’s birth control benefit over the definition of a religious organization. Locally, those who oppose the mandate are drumming up support for their side. The latest proof that the public is on their side? A very skewed poll showing that “most Oklahomans oppose the health care mandate.”

According to the poll, 57 percent of those questioned opposed the mandate, with only 33 percent supporting it and 10 percent undecided. However the poll, which was conducted with only 305 respondents, also included a high margin of error and a rather biased polling question.

“In September, locally owned Hobby Lobby Stores sued the federal government over a new mandate in the Affordable Care Act, or otherwise known as Obamacare, that includes free access to the morning-after and week-after pill, known as Plan B and Ella. According to the Food and Drug Administration, the drugs can stop a fertilized egg from implanting into the wall of a woman’s uterus, thereby preventing a potential pregnancy.

“Hobby Lobby’s stance on the pills falls in line with its evangelical Christian beliefs of its founder and family, declaring that the mandate violates their rights to live and do business according to their religious beliefs.

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“Do you SUPPORT or OPPOSE this new mandate in the Affordable Care Act that includes free access to the morning-after and week-after pill?”

The poll question disregards the rest of the contraception being covered by the mandate, reinforces a conservative religious stance on the requirement, and pushes outdated science as to how the emergency contraceptive protocols are believed to work. Even with all of that, only 57 percent of respondents oppose the mandate, with a margin of error of almost 6 percent.

Many other polls show vastly different results. According to a recent survey conducted by Catholics for Choice and the American Civil Liberties Union, for example, 81 percent of agree that “the law should not allow companies or other institutions to use religious beliefs to decide whether to offer a service to some people and not others.” Included in those services are all forms of contraception.

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