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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

 

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Contact Letter
  • Annette Magjuka

    As a 1978 alum, I totally agree!

  • warmupthediesel

    You’re not entitled to contraception being on your insurance plan. The. End. Cry about it all you want.

    • Jenna George

      Lmao. I like the contrast between their statement and your immature response. You could have eloquently disagreed too

      • warmupthediesel

        Apparently, your definition of “mature” is standing around outside with a megaphone demanding you receive free contraception. LOL

        • Matt Gordon

          How is the contraception “free” if it was originally part of their insurance plans, for which they pay premiums?

  • conway0516

    No one is limiting your healthcare decision. You can still buy contraception on your own.

    As for Ms. Rochat’s CBS interview, she said she didn’t have disposable income to spend, an argument you neglect to make above. Also, she felt it was an “unfair intrusion into our private rights.” It is not a right to have birth control, and if it is private, then why should the greater pool pay for it and why is it a public decision?

  • George Salib

    What an embarrassment. Justifying contraceptive use, particularly within the guidelines of healthcare plans, is against Catholic teaching. Notice how everyone on the list are grad students, likely from undergrad public schools.

  • Intolerance = Discrimination

    First, Notre Dame does not obligate its graduate students to purchase health insurance through the school. All graduate students are permitted to purchase a health plan through the marketplace and request an insurance waiver from the school. You made a choice to purchase health coverage from the school and should accept the consequences of your decision. Second, Notre Dame is a Catholic Institution. By Catholic, I mean that Catholics recognizes abortion as the murdering of a child; civil unions may be acknowledged but homosexual marriages cannot; and the use of contraceptives and birth control are expressly prohibited unless condoms are required for protection from diseases in high-risk areas of the world or other similar extenuating circumstance. These are some of the teachings of the Church. In my explanation, did I mention anything about not accepting other people or being intolerant of other beliefs? No. The Catholic Church accepts and welcomes all people. Everyone has sin. The Catholic Church teachers tolerance, love, and acceptance. A woman who has an abortion, a homosexual couple, and a person who uses contraceptives are equally open to the invitation of the Church, without any intolerance, hatred, or discrimination. The Church also teaches people to adhere to all of the teachings of Catholicism. In this light, Notre Dame can continue to follow the teachings of the Catholic Church and fulfill Fr. Hesburgh’s vision of a crossroads, where “differences of culture and religion and conviction can co-exist with friendship, civility, hospitality, respect, and even love.” Third, Fr. Hesburgh’s vision for Notre Dame would be hindered by a decision to blatantly defy the Catholic Church and adhere to requests that are grounded in intolerance. Your decision was to attend Notre Dame, an institution well-known for being Catholic. Your decision to attend Notre Dame means you accepted the school’s decision to follow the teachings of the Catholic Church. Your request shows your intolerance and lack of respect for Notre Dame and the Catholic Church. Quite possibly your viewpoint discriminates against Notre Dame and the Catholic Church. Under such principles of intolerance and disrespect, Fr. Hesburgh’s vision is distorted and defied. Inherently, your requests suggests no coexistence of culture and religion. Instead, your request asks Notre Dame to bend to your beliefs on morality while allowing yourself to remain rigid in your beliefs. Your request asks Notre Dame to disconnect itself from the teachings of Catholicism and to complicit in sin. Your request for Notre Dame to become an enabler of sin is especially egregious because you have the opportunity to fulfill your request by other avenues that you chose not follow.

  • Intolerance = Discrimination

    First, Notre Dame does not obligate its graduate students to purchase health insurance through the school. All graduate students are permitted to purchase a health plan through the marketplace and request an insurance waiver from the school. You made a choice to purchase health coverage from the school and should accept the consequences of your decision. Second, Notre Dame is a Catholic Institution. By Catholic, I mean that Catholics recognizes abortion as the murdering of a child; civil unions may be acknowledged but homosexual marriages cannot; and the use of contraceptives and birth control are expressly prohibited unless condoms are required for protection from diseases in high-risk areas of the world or other similar extenuating circumstance. These are some of the teachings of the Church. In my explanation, did I mention anything about not accepting other people or being intolerant of other beliefs? No. The Catholic Church accepts and welcomes all people. Everyone has sin. The Catholic Church teachers tolerance, love, and acceptance. A woman who has an abortion, a homosexual couple, and a person who uses contraceptives are equally open to the invitation of the Church, without any intolerance, hatred, or discrimination. The Church also teaches people to adhere to all of the teachings of Catholicism. In this light, Notre Dame can continue to follow the teachings of the Catholic Church and fulfill Fr. Hesburgh’s vision of a crossroads, where “differences of culture and religion and conviction can co-exist with friendship, civility, hospitality, respect, and even love.” Third, Fr. Hesburgh’s vision for Notre Dame would be hindered by a decision to blatantly defy the Catholic Church and adhere to requests that are grounded in intolerance. Your decision was to attend Notre Dame, an institution well-known for being Catholic. Your decision to attend Notre Dame means you accepted the school’s decision to follow the teachings of the Catholic Church. Your request shows your intolerance and lack of respect for Notre Dame and the Catholic Church. Quite possibly your viewpoint discriminates against Notre Dame and the Catholic Church. Under such principles of intolerance and disrespect, Fr. Hesburgh’s vision is distorted and defied. Inherently, your requests suggests no coexistence of culture and religion. Instead, your request asks Notre Dame to bend to your beliefs on morality while allowing yourself to remain rigid in your beliefs. Your request asks Notre Dame to disconnect itself from the teachings of Catholicism and to complicit in sin. Your request for Notre Dame to become an enabler of sin is especially egregious because you have the opportunity to fulfill your request by other avenues that you chose not follow.