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Faculty at Jesuit university vote for continued abortion coverage

December 23, 2013

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In a 215-89 vote, the faculty senate of Santa Clara University has declared “invalid” a decision by Father Michael Engh, the university’s president, to stop providing insurance coverage for abortion.

Inside Higher Ed reported that the university’s board of trustees will now decide the matter.

“Santa Clara faculty and staff are not members of a Catholic parish,” said Nancy Unger, a history professor. “They are employees of a large corporation. Many fear that this denial of comprehensive abortion coverage is part of a wider effort to allow private employers to impose their religious beliefs on employees, denying a raft of health care services from abortion and contraception to vaccines.”

“‘Father knows best’ is not a compelling argument here, especially when one man denies hundreds of women access to a procedure that he could never need,” she added. “It’s also no principle on which to run a university.”


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  • Posted by: - Jan. 02, 2014 11:09 AM ET USA

    The groundwork for this result was obviously laid over the years by the imprudent hiring of non-Catholic faculty. Thus this result -- not merely defiance of the president but defiance of Church teaching. Maybe the bishop will speak, as he should. Maybe he'll hide out.

  • Posted by: TheJournalist64 - Dec. 23, 2013 5:32 PM ET USA

    The local bishop should declare, if they continue abortion coverage, that since they are paying for abortions, they are no longer a Catholic college. That MAY get the trustees' attention.

  • Posted by: - Dec. 23, 2013 5:14 PM ET USA

    It’s nothing to do with choice. If you’ve got money, you've got choices. If the feds want to provide choices, they can just give every woman, annually, the cost of a year’s worth of hormonal OC’s. This gives her an extra $390 a year she can spend on anything: candy bars, Pills, stylish maternity clothes, whiskey, airfare to Guam, anything. She gets choices, she is not limited by costs, and nobody else picks up bad karma whether she chooses 200 very fine condoms or a good used 10-speed Schwinn.

  • Posted by: - Dec. 23, 2013 4:47 PM ET USA

    That's what Jesuit Universities have become: "large corporations" (as per Nancy Unger). Sad!

  • Posted by: Defender - Dec. 23, 2013 2:45 PM ET USA

    This is one reason why only Catholics should teach and work at Catholic schools. Another is that it's just another Jesuit school that could care less about the Magisterium.

  • Posted by: jacquebquique5708 - Dec. 23, 2013 2:34 PM ET USA

    What a sad state of affairs. Catholic universities, especially Jesuit, have wanted to reach out to the community around them. They reached out so well that "the barbarians are now inside the gates" and taking control.

  • Posted by: jg23753479 - Dec. 23, 2013 11:10 AM ET USA

    A word to the benighted faculty of this supposedly Catholic institution: When the Father in question is the author of the 10 Commandments, "Father knows best" is indeed a "compelling argument." You all probably missed that grammar school catechism class where it was pointed out that God forbids killing your fellow human beings. Come out of your stuffy academic tower rooms and breathe some fresh air for a change.