Photo: AP/FlickrUser Catholic Church (England and Wales)-Creative Commons
During the debate over health-care reform, Obama promised that “if you liked your health-care plan, you could keep it.”Not if you’re Catholic.
The Franciscan University of Steubenville just announced that it was dropping it’s health-care coverage because the Obama Administration’s regulations would force it to violate its religious conscience.
The statement on their website reads:
The Obama Administration has mandated that all health insurance plans must cover “women’s health services” including contraception, sterilization, and abortion-causing medications as part of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA). Up to this time, Franciscan University has specifically excluded these services and products from its student health insurance policy, and we will not participate in a plan that requires us to violate the consistent teachings of the Catholic Church on the sacredness of human life.
Earlier this year the Department of Health and Human Services determined that all employers that offer health insurance have to include co-pay free contraception, sterilization, and morning-after pills in their plans.
Naturally, religious institutions objected to this, as they considered these actions (or participating in them by funding them) grave sins. The regulation means that groups of nuns who dedicate themselves to praying for the unborn would have to subsidise the very procedures they find objectionable.
Cardinal Timothy Dolan said that Obama had effectively told them they had one year “to figure out how to violate their conscience.” Employers who didn’t provide these services would face huge and growing penalties.
So Franciscan University becomes the first school to simply drop it’s health care coverage. So that is 2,500 students who are losing their coverage altogether because Obama insists that the Franciscan Friars who run their institution must pay for free sterilizations, or provide no coverage at all.
via Catholic Vote.
When we first covered the Obama administration’s decision on this we hosted a debate:
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