Pro-Life Group Seeks Investigation of Forcing Students to Pay for Abortions
by Steven Ertelt
August 23, 2010
Charlotte, NC (LifeNews.com) — A national pro-life student group is seeking a federal or state investigation into a situation it exposed about how students who attend public universities in North Carolina may have been forced to pay for abortions under the required health insurance plan.
Students for Life of America brought the information to light and noted concerns that federal funds may come into play.
SFLA discovered the North Carolina Board of Governors will require all students enrolled in a University of North Carolina public institution, starting with the 2010-2011 school year, to have health insurance.
Students who do not already have private health insurance are required to buy a state selected policy from Pearce & Pearce, Inc — and it covers up to $500 toward elective abortions and has 80% PPO coverage for elective abortions.
Following SFLA’s national outcry, the University of North Carolina Board of Governors announced that they will allow students opposed to abortion to "opt-out" of paying for abortion coverage.
Despite the opt out, students would be required to pay the same premium amount.
SFLA has been trying to work with the University of North Carolina system, but it still has numerous concerns and questions.
Late last week, the pro-life group sent a letter expressing its concerns to the North Carolina governor, president of UNC, and the North Carolina congressional delegation in Washington asking them to investigate the matter further.
It is necessary that state and federal officials look into the UNC abortion health care situation," SFLA director Kristan Hawkins said.
"The UNC system clearly had a choice when adopting its health care policies and chose to include abortion. It wasn’t until North Carolinians and Americans expressed outrage that an opt out policy was even offered," she told LifeNews.com.
"Since that time, we have received no reassurances that students who opt out of abortion coverage will not be paying for other students abortions or that federal funds will not be used to help cover the cost of the abortion health care plans. Abortion is not health care neither for the women of North Carolina or their pre-born children," Hawkins added.
The potential probe could examine, based on SFLA’s uncovering of the situation and the details behind it, whether increased federal funding for students for college would help pay for abortion coverage in health care plans. That could violate the provisions of the Hyde amendment that prohibits federal funding of abortions in some portions of the federal budget.
When it uncovered the abortion coverage, SFLA indicated the Pearce & Pearce policy costs students $744 per year or $375 per semester and the State of North Carolina will not be paying into the policy. Instead, students who are required to purchase the insurance will be required to pay the entire cost, unless they opt out, and part of the cost will go towards the payment of abortions for fellow students.
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