On some as-yet-undetermined future date — either on Thursday or some time next week — the House of Representatives will vote on a bill that could restrict women’s access to birth control. Under the Affordable Care Act, insurers were required to cover contraceptives without a copay. But under the American Health Care Act (or Trumpcare or Ryancare, depending on who you ask), conservative Republicans could repeal that mandate as a chip in the political bargaining process.
But based on a new survey of registered voters from the nonpartisan firm PerryUndem, the majority of men don’t think contraceptive coverage has much to do with them. According to the survey, more than half of men (52 percent) say they have not personally benefited from a woman in their life having access to affordable birth control.
Interestingly, the men most likely to say they don’t personally benefit (70 percent) were 60 years old and older, while the men most likely to answer say they do (45 percent) were ages 18 to 44. In other words: Men were more likely to see a personal benefit to birth control the nearer they got to a woman’s reproductive age.
The majority of men surveyed (56 percent) also want to keep Obamacare’s birth-control benefit in place, but that number rose to 64 percent when they were told that out-of-pocket costs for birth control would likely increase if the Affordable Care Act is repealed. The survey also suggests that, if the birth-control mandate goes away, a huge number of women will no longer be able to afford it — 14 percent of women surveyed said they couldn’t pay anything out of pocket for birth control if they needed it “today,” and 33 percent said they could afford to pay $10 or less.
Weirdly, the vast majority of respondents (75 percent) said that, if men were the ones who gave birth, the mandate wouldn’t be up for debate at all.