Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Catholic University Ends Birth Control Coverage

 Xavier University of Cincinnati, one of the oldest Roman Catholic colleges in the United States, founded in 1831

Amid the debate over whether religious colleges should be covered by federal requirements that employee health plans include contraception, many have noted that some Roman Catholic colleges have for years had health plans that paid for birth control. One of them -- Xavier University in Ohio -- this week told employees that they would no longer cover contraception and sterilization, as they were inconsistent with Church teaching.

The Rev. Michael J. Graham, president of the university, wrote to employees, saying that the national debate prompted him to review the university's policies. He noted that President Obama has proposed a compromise on the issue, under which religious colleges would not have to pay for contraception coverage, but the insurance companies would be required to provide the coverage free. In his letter, Father Graham wrote that this compromise was "insufficient."

Father Graham wrote that "as a Catholic priest and as president of a Catholic university, I have concluded that, absent a legal mandate, it is inconsistent for a Catholic institution to cover those drugs and procedures the Church opposes." He said that he told the human resources office to work with the university's insurance provider to be sure that, by July 1, no coverage is provided for either contraception or sterilization, with the exception of "medical necessity for non-contraceptive purposes."

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