Xavier, a Jesuit university in Ohio, has eliminated coverage for contraception in its employee health insurance plans. According to a Reuters article,
The controversy prompted Xavier President Michael Graham, a Jesuit priest, to review the health insurance plan offered to the university’s 935 employees. Graham announced this week in a letter to the faculty that the plan will cease to cover contraception on July 1.
The Obama administration’s HHS mandate, forcing Catholic institutions to either violate their consciences, pay hefty fines, or close, seems to have resulted in some internal re-examination by Catholic institutions.
The controversy has jolted some Catholic college presidents into scrutinizing the health insurance plans offered to their employees, hunting for potential conflicts with church doctrine.
“Many times, contraception was covered and the organization didn’t even know it,” said Michael O’Dea, executive director of the Christus Medicus Foundation, which promotes Christian healthcare.
Other Catholic universities do not seem to be so concerned about following Catholic teaching, however.
Some Catholic education experts said they hoped other colleges would follow Xavier’s lead. “This is a very positive move,” said Patrick Reilly, president of the Cardinal Newman Society, which pushes Catholic colleges to stay true to the church’s teachings.
The contraception debate, Reilly said, “has certainly made Catholic colleges more aware, both of what their own (insurance) policies are, and of what the church expects of them.”
Several other prominent Catholic universities in the U.S., including Georgetown, DePaul and Fordham, offer contraceptive coverage as part of employee insurance plans. A spokesman for Fordham said the university was not re-evaluating its coverage. Spokeswomen for Georgetown and DePaul did not return calls.
Bravo for Xavier! Fordham, on the other hand, needs our prayers. Georgetown and DePaul, where do you stand?