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Jesuit university to end contraception, sterilization coverage

Catholic World News - April 04, 2012

The president of an Ohio Jesuit university has announced that it will no longer offer insurance coverage for “sterilizations and contraceptives, except for cases of medical necessity for non-contraceptive purposes.”

Father Michael Graham, SJ, said that Xavier University in Cincinnati reviewed its insurance coverage following the Obama administration’s announcement of the upcoming implementation of its mandate on contraceptive coverage.

“As a Catholic priest and as president of a Catholic university, I have concluded that, absent a legal mandate, it is inconsistent for a Catholic institution to cover those drugs and procedures which the Church opposes,” said Father Graham.

The university’s faculty committee--whose nine members are elected by their peers--criticized Father Graham’s decision. The committee is chaired by Shannon Byrne, director of the university’s classics and honors programs.

“This action might be more disruptive than productive, but if it comes from US Catholic Bishops, it is what it is,” the committee said in its response. “While acknowledging that, we are very concerned over the precedent this may set in weakening the semi-autonomous status of our university.”

“Moreover, we on Faculty Committee must convey our displeasure at the fact that you bypassed shared governance in this decision-making process,” the committee added. “Shared governance should not be ignored even when outside pressure is the driving force.”

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  • Posted by: unum - Apr. 04, 2012 11:43 PM ET USA

    It looks like Father Michael Graham, SJ is more interested in PR than following Church teaching when he suspends the availability of contraceptives until he gets a government mandate. Xavier is clearly a university in the "Jesuit tradition" instead in the Catholic tradition, and the students are being deprived of Church teaching.

  • Posted by: joecober6835 - Apr. 04, 2012 8:51 PM ET USA

    Glad to hear this news. I wonder about the Jesuits !!!!

  • Posted by: lauriem5377 - Apr. 04, 2012 6:05 PM ET USA

    As pointed out by Michael Burton below - I hope many will write to thank Fr. Graham for his courageous position.

  • Posted by: Hal - Apr. 04, 2012 10:31 AM ET USA

    Everyone who learns of this news should send a note of support to Fr. Graham today.

  • Posted by: Michael Burton - Apr. 04, 2012 10:01 AM ET USA

    Oops, someone noticed we already cover this... so... we'll just act like we are going to stop until we get a legal mandate then we'll start covering it again. Sorry for the inconvenience, folks! Darn red tape!

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