Statement on Insurance Changes
We, the Executive Board of the Notre Dame Chapter of University Faculty for Life, echo Bishop Kevin Rhoades in expressing support for Notre Dame’s plan to remove some abortifacient drugs from its health plan and begin offering natural family planning services. We are sincerely grateful to Fr. Jenkins for making these changes.
We also fully support Fr. Jenkins’ plan to positively present the Church’s teaching on contraception to health plan enrollees, and appreciate his eloquent description of Humanae vitae’s prophetic nature.
However, like Bishop Rhoades, we disagree with Notre Dame’s decision to begin directly providing what Fr. Jenkins calls “simple” contraceptives for several related reasons.
First, contraception is against Catholic teaching, as explained in Humanae vitae, Evangelium Vitae and the Catechism (#2370). The administration’s wish to honor the conscience rights of those who use contraception does not justify the University taking an active role in providing the contraceptive drugs.
Second, we are concerned about the criteria that will be used for determining whether a drug is a “simple” contraceptive. The term “simple contraceptives” is not a medical term. We believe it is imperative to exclude all drugs and devices that may function by causing the death of a newly conceived embryonic human being. According to FDA labeling and well established scientific evidence, this includes copper IUDs, EllaOne (the so-called week after pill), and Plan B (morning after pill). It may very well include other drugs and devices.
Third, we find exceedingly troubling the idea that any Notre Dame employee or student would financially “rely on” the contraception benefit (as stated in Fr. Jenkins’ letter), which is worth no more than a few hundred dollars a year. If there are employees or students on campus who must sacrifice basic necessities in order to pay an expense of a few hundred dollars – whether that expense be contraceptives or something else – we would suggest that the Christian solution would be for the University to pay a just wage or to give more financial aid, rather than pay for contraceptives.
ND Chapter of UFL
Executive Board Member
Executive Board Member