- The Washington Times - Friday, February 20, 2015

A Pennsylvania Catholic university is making plans to drop all abortion coverage in its health insurance to be consistent with its faith.

Currently, the University of Scranton’s health care plans include coverage for abortion in cases of rape, incest and to preserve the life of the mother, the Rev. Kevin P. Quinn wrote to faculty and staff this month.

Although this coverage is limited, “it is inconsistent with the moral teachings of the Church,” he wrote.

“Considerable deliberation and research has made clear to me that because the University is self insured we can, and therefore must, offer insurance plans that are free of all abortion coverage,” Mr. Quinn said in his Feb. 10 letter.

“[F]idelity to our mission as a Catholic and Jesuit institution is the abiding theme of our history, regardless of the times and trials,” he wrote.

The Associated Press reported Friday that the University of Scranton’s faculty affairs council must weigh in on the proposal.

Also, the union has not formally responded to the proposal, the AP said, citing the Times-Tribune of Scranton.

The no-abortion proposal is more stringent than federal law, which permits federal funding of abortion in cases of rape, incest and when the mother’s life is endangered.

According to the Cardinal Newman Society, Mr. Quinn clarified that the university insurance would “continue to cover medical procedures that are intended to preserve the life of the mother so long as these procedures are not a direct abortion.”

The insurance would cover also physical or psychological treatment for victims of domestic and sexual abuse, Mr. Quinn told the Cardinal Newman Society.

“I recognize that abortion is a painfully divisive issue nationally and that Catholic and Jesuit colleges and universities have not been immune to this divisiveness,” Mr. Quinn said in his letter to staff and faculty.

“Nevertheless, the moral teaching of the Church on abortion is unequivocal,” he said, quoting from Evangelium Vitae No. 58, that “[c]ircumstances, however serious or tragic, can never justify the deliberate killing of an innocent human being,” and “[n]o one more absolutely innocent could be imagined” than the unborn child.

Changes to specific coverages will be addressed within the context of the university’s contract with the faculty, he wrote.

“Regardless of your personal views on this subject, I hope that you can understand the necessity that as a Catholic institution we must behave consistently with the Church’s moral teaching on abortion.”


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