Catholic University of San Francisco Drops Abortion Coverage From Health Plan
by Steven Ertelt
December 10, 2008
San Francisco, CA (LifeNews.com) — After strong protest from pro-life Catholics, the University of San Francisco (USF) has dropped abortion coverage from a new student health care plan. A top USF official says the Jesuit college supports the pro-life teachings of the Catholic Church and made a mistake in including abortion in the package.
Gary McDonald, the director of Communications and Public Affairs, released a statement on Friday that LifeNews.com obtained.
"A new health plan for students at the University of San Francisco included a provision for the voluntary termination of pregnancy," he said. "It was not the University’s intention to offer this coverage."
"We regret this mistake, and we take full responsibility for not adequately reviewing the contract. We are grateful to those who brought this issue to our attention," he added.
McDonald also promised that, "USF supports the Catholic Church’s views on the sanctity of life, at all stages, and we will remove this provision from our student health plan."
The decision to include abortion caused a controversy not only because of the school’s Catholic affiliation but because full-time undergraduate students at USF are automatically enrolled in the university’s plan unless they request a waiver and prove that they have other, comparable insurance.
The Catholic Key blog originally obtained USF documents about the plan that show that it was developed especially for eligible University of San Francisco students and their eligible dependents.
To Patrick Reilly, president of The Cardinal Newman Society, that meant the USF signed onto a specially-developed plan especially for its students instead of signing up for a generic plan that may or may not have included abortion.
As a result, Reilly says it appeared to him that USF officially specifically requested a health insurance plan that covers abortions.
Given the importance of life issues for Catholics, it is stunning that USFs student health program would pay for abortions, Reilly told LifeNews.com on Thursday. I pray that this was a mistake and not a willful action of the Catholic university, but regardless of how the abortion coverage ended up in the policy, it clearly cannot remain.
Reilly said the Cardinal Newman Society called on USF president Father Stephen Privett to immediately move to remove abortion from the plan or find a new insurance option.
The health plan wasn’t the first time the University of San Francisco has promoted abortion.
Previously, USF honored abortion advocate Gavin Newsom, the former San Francisco mayor, as a graduation speaker.
"Very often the argument we get back from these schools, take Gavin Newsom, is that he’s done wonderful things. Number one, it’s downplaying what these people are doing in advancing the Culture of Death. It is also ignoring the fact that there are thousands and thousands of wonderful, honorable people who could be selected as commencement speakers who would not raise these concerns," Reilly said.
CNS also highlighted pro-abortion professors at USF in a previous letter to Catholic colleges urging them to fire such staff.
ACTION: Contact USF and thank them for removing the pro-abortion health care plan at University of San Francisco, Office of the President, 2130 Fulton St., San Francisco, CA 94117, call (415) 422-6762, or email [email protected]. Find more contacts at https://www.usfca.edu/president/contact.html.
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