ND Right to Life statement on contraceptive coverage in University health plan
Letter to the Editor | Friday, February 23, 2018
The Executive Board of Notre Dame Right to Life appreciates the time and consideration University President Fr. John Jenkins devoted to his most recent decision regarding the health insurance plan provided by Notre Dame to its students, faculty and staff; yet we are disheartened to hear that despite being offered an exemption from covering contraceptives, abortifacients and sterilizations, the University will directly fund coverage of contraceptives through its health insurance plan.
We commend the administration’s decision to take the exemption and no longer cover abortifacients and sterilizations. We also support the decision to provide funding for natural family planning options — methods which are supported by Church teaching and which uphold human dignity. However, we believe these steps forward are not nearly enough.
The provision of contraception has no place in the health insurance plan of a Catholic institution. The funding of simple contraceptives for the intended purpose of preventing conception is in no way “based on Catholic principles:” on the contrary, it is directly against the Catechism of the Catholic Church, which states that “every action which … proposes … to render procreation impossible is intrinsically evil.”
Moreover, the intrinsic evil of contraception concerns not only Catholics themselves, but every member of our University community. As long as simple contraceptives remain a stain in the health care policy of Notre Dame, the persons who are being allowed this access are being encouraged to enslave love. Contraception denies men and women the fruitfulness of their love and insularizes relationships, an injustice which damages the virtue and integrity of our community — for all individuals from all faith traditions.
In his letter concerning the new healthcare policy, Jenkins acknowledged those groups who may view the new policy as not restrictive enough, but we, as the leaders of Notre Dame Right to Life, wish to clarify that we find this policy not liberating enough. It is not freeing for women, whose sexual objectification is promoted with the use of contraception; it is not freeing for men, who may be misguided by this policy in their pursuit of authentic love; and it is absolutely incompatible with our mission as a community, which seeks to know truth and grow in love.
The views expressed in this Letter to the Editor are those of the author and not necessarily those of The Observer.