-

The Observer is a Student-run, daily print & online newspaper serving Notre Dame & Saint Mary's. Learn more about us.

-

viewpoint

Statement on contraceptive coverage at Notre Dame

| Wednesday, October 11, 2017

The Trump administration has issued interim final rules allowing broad religious and moral exemptions to the mandate that all health insurance plans include coverage for contraception. The exemptions will allow Notre Dame to end contraceptive coverage in student and employee plans as soon as December 2017, just four months into the current plan year. We urge Notre Dame not to take this action.

Under the current insurance plan at Notre Dame — which many graduate students are required to purchase — Notre Dame does not provide contraceptive coverage. Rather, those of us on the plan have separate contraceptive accounts with Aetna, provided by the insurer itself. Ending this arrangement and denying contraceptive coverage in the middle of a plan year is discriminatory to female students and employees. Moreover, it would interfere with the personal decisions that should be made by individuals and their doctors. Contraceptives are prescribed for any number of reasons, and it is not the place of an employer or school administrator to second-guess or supercede a woman’s medical choices — especially when only one type of treatment is subjected to such scrutiny.

We understand the Catholic Church’s position on contraception, and believe every person should be free to act according to his or her faith. Accordingly, and in light of the many religious differences that exist here, we do not believe that students and employees should have limitations placed on their abilities to make healthcare decisions. After all, Fr. Hesburgh envisioned Notre Dame as a crossroads, where “differences of culture and religion and conviction can co-exist with friendship, civility, hospitality, respect and even love.”

His vision is the Notre Dame we experience every day: a thriving university where diversity of thought is welcomed and celebrated. Maintaining contraceptive coverage will send a message to current and future students and employees that the University truly values those of all cultures, religions and convictions as members of the Notre Dame family.

 

The American Civil Liberties Union of Notre Dame

Notre Dame Women’s Legal Forum Executive Board

Laura Myers

ACLU president

third-year law student

Cassie Gawron

Women’s Legal Forum president

second-year law student

Maggie Adams

second-year law student

D’Asia Bellamy

second-year law student

Anthony Gaines

third-year law student

Annie Gallerano

second-year law student

Alison Ibendahl

first-year law student

Kelsie Nagele

third-year law student

Kate Rochat

third-year law student

Drew Shick

third-year law student

Will Tronsor

third-year law student

Conor Woods

first-year law student

Joseph Bennett

first-year law student

Oct. 10

 

Tags: , , , ,

About Letter to the Editor

Letters to the Editor can be submitted by all members of the Notre Dame community. To submit a letter to the Viewpoint Editor, email [email protected]

Contact Letter