Catholic University Blames Its Decision To Drop Student Health Insurance On Contraception Rule

Franciscan University, a small Catholic college in Ohio, said it will drop its health insurance coverage for students instead of complying with a new federal mandate to provide contraception coverage because it goes against Catholic teaching. Along with no longer offering insurance, the college will not require students to have insurance because “[w]e didn’t want to put them in a situation where they would have to violate their conscience,” Michael Hernon, a vice president at Franciscan University, told Reuters. Fewer than 200 of the 2,500 students have been buying insurance from the university. Obama has announced accommodations for religious groups giving them an extra year to comply with the new rule and assuring them that insurers will pay for the contraception coverage instead of the organizations, but Catholic leaders have remained strongly opposed to it.