Xavier University announced yesterday that it will no longer provide contraceptive coverage for its employees. Xavier, a Jesuit university in Cincinnati, Ohio, said that its employee insurance plans will no longer cover birth control as of July 1. In his letter to the faculty announcing the change, Xavier president Michael J. Graham wrote that he was prompted to review the school’s health plan in light of the Obama Administration’s recent announcement that employers’ insurance plans must include contraception coverage.
In his letter (PDF) obtained by the Cincinnati Enquirer, Graham wrote, “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 the Church opposes. Consequently, I have directed our Office of Human Resources to work with our insurance carrier, Humana, to no longer cover sterilizations and contraceptives, except for cases of medical necessity for non-contraceptive purposes, effective as of July 1, 2012.”
According to Reuters, the officials at Xavier would not comment on the change or indicate if they knew that the health plans covered contraception. Some members of the faculty and student body objected to the ruling and a committee of faculty members sent a letter to Graham expressing their outrage.
New York Times 4/3/12; Reuters 4/3/12; Cincinnati Enquirer 4/3/12; Michael J. Graham letter to Xavier University Community (as obtained by Cincinnati Enquirer) 4/2/12