Physician opinion and the HHS contraceptives mandate

Ryan Antiel, Erin O'Donnell, Katherine Humeniuk, Farr Curlin, John Hardt, Jon Tilburt

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Background: The Health and Human Services (HHS) contraceptives mandate, recommended on the advice of the Institute of Medicine (IOM), has evoked a heated debate about whether religiously affiliated organizations should be required to provide contraceptive services contrary to their religious beliefs. The extent to which U.S. physicians agree with the contraceptives mandate remains unknown. Methods: We conducted a cross-sectional survey of 3,897 practicing U.S. physicians from all specialties to investigate their opinions on the mandate. Physicians were asked whether religiously affiliated institutions that object to the use of contraceptives should be required to cover contraceptives in their health plans. Results: Of 2,556 physician respondents (65% response rate), just over half opposed the legislation (52%). Respondents' sex, religious characteristics, and political self-characterization were all significantly associated with their views on the mandate. Physicians from specialties who treat women of reproductive age regularly did not differ significantly from U.S. physicians as a whole. Conclusions: U.S. physicians are divided on the issue of requiring religiously affiliated institutions to cover contraception when doing so conflicts with the institutions' stated values.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)56-60
Number of pages5
JournalAJOB Empirical Bioethics
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2014


  • Contraceptives
  • Health policy
  • Physicians
  • Religion
  • Survey

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health(social science)
  • Philosophy
  • Health Policy


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