Young Republicans may be departing from their parents’ — and party’s — views on birth control. Two-thirds of Republicans ages 18 to 34 said they thought women should be able to get affordable birth control, according to a survey released Tuesday by the National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy. A majority of conservative millennials told researchers they had a positive opinion of birth control, and though 60 percent had a negative opinion of the Affordable Care Act in general, 43 percent supported the federal law’s controversial contraception mandate.
Republicans have been accused of waging a “war on women” in recent years, but about 80 percent of respondents said that sexually active people who don’t want kids should take responsibility by using birth control. “Young Republicans don’t leave their ideology behind when thinking about expanding contraceptive access, and they certainly favor limited government,” report author Kristen Soltis Anderson said in a news release. “However, within that context, they want to know how to make sure that the most effective methods of birth control are available to those who want them.”
Some methods of contraception were more popular than others. Birth control pills were mostly supported, as were prescribed IUDs and implants. However, more than half of the Republicans interviewed had a negative opinion of emergency contraception, often called Plan B. They worried people might rely on Plan B instead of using other methods of birth control. It’s “an uh-oh, let me fix my mistake real quick” option, said an anonymous respondent quoted in the report.
Roughly half of the people interviewed said they thought insurance should cover a range of approved birth control methods without requiring a co-pay. At the same time, 55 percent of young Republican women said they supported the ruling in the Burwell vs. Hobby Lobby Stores case, allowing the company to choose which kinds of contraception to cover. They see birth control “more as a personal convenience than a critical, basic health need,” the report said.
The survey included responses from 818 Republican young adults. Read the full breakdown of results here.