Catholic University says it wasn’t aware student health plan covered abortion

Joe Bukuras   By Joe Bukuras for CNA

 

The Catholic University of America, June 1, 2018. / BumbleDee/Shutterstock

Washington, D.C. Newsroom, Nov 19, 2021 / 15:00 pm (CNA).

The Catholic University of America has acknowledged that its student health care plan has included coverage for certain abortion services for the past three years, a provision the school says it will discontinue after the policy was brought to light by a recent news report.

The College Fix, a new site that features the work of student journalists, reported Nov. 9 that the university’s student health care plan provided by Aetna covers abortion “when the pregnancy is the result of rape or incest or if it places the woman’s life in serious danger.”

The news outlet has written a series of stories about student health care plans at a number of Catholic higher-education institutions that cover abortion services, sterilization surgeries, contraception, and even sex change surgeries, all in contradiction to the explicit teachings of the Catholic Church.

In response to The College Fix’s latest report, Susan Gibbs, the interim executive director of communications at The Catholic University of America, issued the following statement to CNA:

“The Catholic University of America is committed to defending life at every stage, and we work hard to live out that commitment in all aspects of University operations. For our student and staff health plans, we have always excluded abortion from coverage.

“A few years ago our health insurance provider for our student health plan (Aetna) made a blanket change to their plans to add limited exceptions to the abortion exclusion —in the case of rape, incest, and if the life of the mother is in danger. Unfortunately, we failed to catch the modification. The change was not intentional on our part. Our health insurance plan for staff never included these exceptions.

“As a result of our direct communications with Aetna, they have removed all exceptions to the comprehensive exclusion of abortion coverage from our student health plan, and we have removed the plan from our website. An amended plan will be available soon, and it will be explicit that abortion is excluded from coverage. The Catholic University of America apologizes for the error.”

The Catholic University of America was founded in 1889 by the U.S. Catholic bishops, with a charter from Pope Leo XIII, to be the national university of the Catholic Church in America.


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