The Catholic University of America swiftly removed coverage of abortions from its student health insurance this week after an investigation revealed that the plans violated Catholic teachings.
According to the College Fix, the Washington, D.C. university apologized for the error and emphasized its commitment to “defending life at every stage.”
Catholic University of America spokeswoman Karnoa Lozoya said they contacted Aetna, which provides its student health insurance plans, to remove the elective abortion coverage.
Earlier this week, The College Fix reported the university student health plans covered abortions on unborn babies conceived in rape or incest.
According to the report, the university paid for coverage of abortions in cases of rape, incest or danger to the mother’s life in its current student health insurance through Aetna. Its 2019-2020 plan included the same provision, but the school plan did not cover any “elective abortions” in its 2016-2017 plan, The Fix found.
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The current school year plan states that abortions will be covered “when the pregnancy is the result of rape or incest or if it places the woman’s life in serious danger.” Aborting unborn babies even in cases of rape or incest violates Catholic teachings about the sanctity of human life.
Responding to the findings, Lozoya said the abortion coverage was a mistake, and the school quickly is working to remedy the problem.
“A few years ago our health insurance provider for our student health plan (Aetna) made a blanket change to their plans to add limited exceptions to the abortion exclusion — in the case of rape, incest and if the life of the mother is in danger,” she told The Fix. “Unfortunately, we failed to catch the modification.”
Lozoya said they communicated with Aetna this week, and the university healthcare plans no longer cover abortions.
“The change was not intentional on our part. Our health insurance plan for staff never included these exceptions,” she told The Fix. “An amended plan will be available soon, and it will be explicit that abortion is excluded from coverage. The Catholic University of America apologizes for the error.”
Lozoya continued: “The Catholic University of America is committed to defending life at every stage, and we work hard to live out that commitment in all aspects of University operations. For our student and staff health plans, we have always excluded abortion from coverage.”
The university has a strong pro-life reputation. It challenged the Affordable Care Act, or Obamacare, contraception mandate, and it allows students to take the day off to attend the March for Life. Students from the university even led the pro-life march in 2016.
Other Christian universities also have been caught paying for abortions in their student health plans including Saint Xavier University in Chicago, the University of San Diego and the University of San Francisco.
For years, Students for Life, The Fix and others have been urging Christian colleges and universities to stop promoting the killing of unborn babies in abortions, a violation of their faith.
In April, Students for Life released a report identifying 25 Christian universities that promote or work with the billion-dollar abortion chain Planned Parenthood. Some described the abortion group as a “trusted resource” on their websites, others hosted events with Planned Parenthood or advertised internships for it.
As a result of the report, several universities did end their connections to Planned Parenthood.