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Third California Catholic College Reassesses Elective Abortion Coverage

St Marys

Matthew Archbold - published on 10/23/13

St. Mary's College in California has chosen to reassess its health insurance plan due to the inclusion of elective abortion coverage.

In light of recent announcements from Catholic colleges in California concerning their coverage of elective abortion, St. Mary’s College in Moraga,Calif., a liberal arts institution run by the Christian Brothers of St. John Baptist de La Salle, is the latest to announce it too is reassessing its coverage.

Loyola Marymount University announced in late August they were dropping abortion coverage. After protests from faculty and staff, and nationwide coverage, the board of trustees voted to drop abortion coverage, but allow employees to purchase third-party insurance at their own expense that included abortion coverage.

And more recently Santa Clara University announced that it is dropping abortion coverage from their health insurance plan.

Now, according to the college’s website, St. Mary’s announced, “in light of [the actions of these other universities], the College is reviewing the essential benefits requirement under California law and the options offered by our health care providers.”

The memo which appears on the college’s website states that the reassessment is being done “in light of our commitment to our Catholic mission.”

This announcement came just days after the inauguration of Saint Mary’s new president, James A. Donahue.

Donahue in his inauguration speech, available for viewing at the college’s website, cited the college’s Catholic identity as one of the cornerstones of the institution. “I believe Catholic higher education at its core is a spiritual practice,” he said. “Who we are, and what we do is grounded and informed by what it means to be Catholic, being part of a tradition and a Church with deep and profound beliefs.” 

In a recent article profiling abortion coverage at California Catholic colleges, Notre Dame de Namur University and Dominican University of California both told The Contra Costa Times that their employee insurance covers elective abortions.

Originally published by The Cardinal Newman Society’s Catholic Education Daily on 21 October 2013.

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