Catholic College Drops Abortion Coverage

The Cardinal Newman Society has learned that a Catholic university in Pennsylvania is dropping its unintentional coverage of abortion in its health insurance plan to better reflect Catholic teaching.

Gannon University, owned by the Diocese of Erie, Pennsylvania, sent a memo out to employees last week announcing the change that will go into effect November 1st, Karla Wludyga, director of public relations for the university, told The Cardinal Newman Society.

The university released a one-sentence statement:

“The university is modifying its current health-insurance plan so that it better reflects our Catholic moral tradition and the ethics of natural law.”

Gannon had previously believed their insurance coverage was in line with Catholic teaching. But chalk this up to an unintended benefit of the HHS contraceptive mandate which spurred the college to perform an extensive review of its insurance coverage which revealed that a section of its plan did indeed provide coverage for some elective abortions.

And Gannon wouldn’t appear to be alone in this.

Xavier University, a Jesuit university, announced earlier this year that it was cutting off birth-control coverage for its employees.

And there’s likely many more.

“My understanding is that sixty percent of Catholic colleges have discovered areas in their policies that weren’t necessarily in line with Catholic teaching,” Anne-Marie Welsh , Director of Communications for the Erie Diocese, told The Cardinal Newman Society. “The HHS mandate gave us a good opportunity to review these and address these efficiently.”

Gannon University is owned by the Diocese of Erie. The diocese  is among the dozens of Catholic plaintiffs suing the federal government because of the HHS contraception mandate.

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Matthew Archbold is a contributing writer to Campus Notes and to National Catholic Register, as well as the co-founder of the popular website, Creative Minority Report.

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