The Cardinal Newman Society evaluated a list of twenty prominent Catholic colleges offering contraceptive coverage and found that most do so because of a state mandate or medical reasons but not for birth control purposes.
In a Feb. 17 blog post, Cardinal Newman Society writer Matthew Archbold called it “simply disingenuous” to use current contraceptive coverage by Catholic colleges to defend a controversial rule issued by the Obama administration.
The new federal mandate will soon require virtually all employers to offer health insurance plans that include coverage of contraception, sterilization and drugs that induce abortions, even if the employer has religious or moral objections to such coverage.
At a Feb. 16 Congressional hearing on religious liberty, The Catholic University of America president John Garvey argued that the mandate would require Catholic colleges across the country to violate their consciences.
Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-Md.) attempted to counter Garvey’s statement by submitting a list of Catholic colleges that currently provide contraceptive coverage.
However, Archbold pointed out, many of these approximately two dozen schools cover contraception for their employees for health reasons but not for purposes of birth control. Many others are required by state law to provide contraceptive coverage.
Archbold offered an analysis of the list submitted by Cummings, which Cardinal Newman Society determined to have originated from the National Women’s Law Center, which advocates abortion.
Many schools on the list, including the University of Notre Dame, Franciscan University of Steubenville, University of Dallas and King’s College, provide coverage for contraceptives but not for the purposes of birth control, said Archbold.
Numerous others, including Loyola University of Chicago, Santa Clara University and Marquette University, are mandated by state law to cover contraceptives, he added.
Only a handful of schools on the list, including Georgetown University, Loyola University of New Orleans and Dayton University in Ohio, cover contraception for non-medical use without being required by law to do so, he observed.
Archbold decried the idea that “the actions of Georgetown and a few others” should be allowed to “act as a mandate to every other Catholic institution in the country.”
“Georgetown should not be allowed to become the federally appointed new magisterium of the Catholic Church,” he said.
Archbold emphasized the importance of fighting mandates at both the federal and state levels.
He also stressed the need to strengthen the identity of Catholic colleges in America while addressing the actions of those that have fallen out of line with Church teaching.