The No. 1 most morally acceptable ‘hot-button’ issue in America

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Contraception isn’t a hard pill for most to swallow.

Birth control remains the most morally acceptable issue for Americans, according to a May Gallup poll measuring attitudes on 21 “hot-button” issues. Ninety-two percent of respondents consider it to be morally acceptable, compared to just 6% who believe it’s morally wrong.

The cost of birth control varies by method and insurance coverage. For example, a monthly supply of oral contraceptives can range from $5 to upwards of $30, according to the American Pregnancy Association, while the cost of the initial physical exam might fall between $20 and $200.

And intrauterine devices (IUDs), a form of long-acting reversible contraception, are covered under many insurance plans. But they can cost up to $1,300 out of pocket, according to Planned Parenthood.

The next most morally acceptable issue for Americans was drinking alcohol, with 79% considering it acceptable versus 19% who considered it wrong. Seventy-nine percent of Americans viewed divorce as morally acceptable, a record high and 10-point increase from 2012.

92% of respondents consider birth control to be morally acceptable versus 6% who said it’s morally wrong.

Sex between an unmarried man and woman, with 71% moral acceptability, also reached its high point since Gallup began measuring popular opinion on such issues in the early 2000s. The newest poll was conducted by telephone between May 1 and May 12 among more than 1,000 U.S. adults.

One issue that proved particularly divisive was abortion, with 42% of survey respondents regarding it morally acceptable, compared to 50% who didn’t. Mirroring the current state-level debates unfolding on access to abortion, the poll results showed a stark chasm in abortion acceptability by political ideology: Just 23% of conservatives said abortion was morally acceptable, versus 73% of liberals who said the same.

“A strong ideological split remains across many of the issues, but none is as divisive as abortion,” the report’s authors wrote. “As some states move to limit or restrict abortions, debate around this issue will likely only get more intense.”

Other polarizing issues with narrow acceptable-unacceptable margins included buying and wearing clothing made with animal fur (53% acceptable; 45% wrong), doctor-assisted suicide (52% acceptable; 44% wrong) and medical testing on animals (51% acceptable; 44% wrong).

As for the least acceptable behaviors, extramarital affairs swept the board, with 89% considering infidelity morally unacceptable. Cloning humans wasn’t far behind at 85% morally wrong, trailed by suicide (79%), polygamy (80%) and cloning animals (66%).