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Notre Dame To Drop Birth Control, Named In Pending ACLU Lawsuit

The University of Notre Dame golden dome surrounded by other campus buildings.

Photo: Jennifer Weingart (WVPE)

The University of Notre Dame announced it will no longer offer contraceptive coverage to its employees or students.

The University of Notre Dame will stop providing birth control coverage to students and employees at the end of the plan year, making it one of the targets of a lawsuit from the American Civil Liberties Union.

Contraceptive coverage is required under the Affordable Care Act. Although religious institutions are exempt, the health care law still requires religiously-affiliated organizations such as hospitals and universities to provide coverage, albeit with some accommodations.

Previously, Notre Dame made the coverage available through a third party service separate from the rest of its health insurance and attempted to sue for the right to not offer the coverage at all. The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled in 2015 the university had to comply with the mandate.

A recent decision by the Trump administration allows those with religious or moral objections to opt-out of providing birth control coverage. This allowed Notre Dame to completely drop the coverage.

Notre Dame sent letters to students and employees on Friday outlining the changes.

The ACLU filed suit against the Trump administration over the decision. One of the named plaintiffs is a Notre Dame law student.

“The Trump Administration Policy allows Notre Dame to declare a wholesale exemption and to not even allow their insurance company to provide the coverage, so we anticipated that Notre Dame would be revoking contraception coverage if given the opportunity,” says Brigitte Amiri, an attorney with ACLU’s reproductive freedom project.

Amiri says even though the university will still provide contraceptives as a treatment for other medical problems, it is still an infringement on a woman’s rights.

“No matter where a woman works or goes to school she should have coverage for basic health care services like contraceptives regardless of the purpose used for the contraception,” she says.

Birth control coverage for Notre Dame faculty and staff ends December 31. For students the coverage ends August 14, 2018.

The University of Notre Dame declined to comment for this story.

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  • lastcamp2

    Even thought most practicing Catholics use birth control, Notre Dame, supposedly an enlightened institution of higher education prefers superstition to science, even though the outcome will be that Catholics will simply use their own money to buy contraceptive products.
    In today’s Catholic world, even those professing vowed life often abandon celibacy, poverty, or obedience, or all of them, and tend to believe that women should be eligible for ordination.
    Perhaps the day will come when the Church will choose to join modern society.

  • Woody

    Not that they’ll care, but that will be the end of my (low) four-figure annual contribution.

  • ohhhh

    * for less than a dollar a day.

  • lastcamp2

    Glad to hear you will chip in.

  • ohhhh

    If it’s my responsibility to pay for something I pay for it and don’t ask my employer or government to cover it.

  • lastcamp2

    That’s fine as long as you define your own responsibility. You aren’t vested with the privilege of defining the responsibility of others.

  • ohhhh

    lastcamp logic, I can just define it as your responsibility and you must take care of it for me.

  • donaldopeoples

    The pedophile church hasn’t a moral leg to stand on.

  • donaldopeoples

    Today’s church has some of the greatest minds of the 18th century.

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