by Steven Ertelt
March 14, 2006
Bowling Green, OH (LifeNews.com) — Pro-life students have scored a major victory at Bowling Green State University in Ohio. After launching a petition drive to change its policy, college officials announced that the university’s student health care plan will not longer pay for abortions.
That means students will no longer have their fees going towards abortions and those students who want abortion coverage in their insurance will have to pay for it themselves.
"It is absolutely good news," Mike Woodall told the Toledo Blade newspaper.
Woodall led a drive along with other pro-life students on campus that collected more than 400 signatures on petitions asking BGSU to not force students to pay for abortions.
Woodall and other pro-life students planned a rally last night at a meeting of the Undergraduate Student Government, but Ed Whipple, vice president of student affairs, emailed students before the meeting indicating the college had chosen a health care plan that didn’t include paying for abortions.
According to the Blade, students must pay an extra $60 of their own money annually to obtain abortion coverage.
"We believe the university’s student health insurance program will give individuals the ability to make health choices based on their personal needs," Whipple wrote in the e-mail.
Sharon Cook, chairman of BGSU’s board of trustees, told the Blade that the decision was a good compromise dropping the abortion coverage requirement while allowing students to pay for it if they wish.
Woodall said the efforts of pro-life students to talk to trustees and members of the board paid off.
Priscilla Coleman, adviser to Falcons for Life, the campus pro-life group, told the Toledo newspaper she agreed.
"I think it’s really all that made the difference — their persistence, they got the signatures, they went to trustees the Friday before spring break," Coleman said. "I know there were students who were not even on the pro-life side of things who felt it was coercion."
Last fall the trustees voted to require BGSU students who do not have health insurance to purchase it through BGSU. Other nearby universities, such as the University of Toledo, have the same requirement and UT’s health care policy covers abortions.
Glenn Egelman, director of the Student Health Center, says the insurance plan last year paid for one abortion at a cost of $300.