Editorial: Catholic school means Catholic morals

By The Beacon | January 31, 2012 9:00pm

(The Beacon)


Many Catholic institutions are disagreeing with the Obama administration's decision to require faith-based employers to include birth control in their health care plans by Aug. 1, 2013. Catholic institutions are deriding the new rule with disdain because it blatantly goes against the First Amendment's freedom of religion.

The new federal rule is a response to many Catholic colleges refusing to prescribe birth control to students due to the institutions' religious beliefs.

This decision follows recommendations by the Institute of Medicine, an independent group of doctors and researchers, that concluded birth control ensures a woman's health and well-being.

Under the new health care law, birth control is considered a "preventative service." However, Michael Galligan-Stierle, president of the Association of Catholic Colleges and Universities, believes these services should be limited to preventing disease and not pregnancy.

"We think (pregnancy) is a gift of love of two people and our creator," Galligan-Stierle told the New York Times.

Pregnancy should also be a choice, and we support the use of contraception. Those who choose to have sex should have the option to do so safely. Birth control lowers the number of unplanned pregnancies and abortions, while allowing its users to be more responsible than if they were to have sex without contraceptives.

But, for those of you  who want to be prescribed birth control through the University's Health Center: tough luck.

We attend a Catholic university. We willingly enrolled at this institution knowing it is governed by Catholic morals. Students cannot expect an institution to change its beliefs based on our desire to have sex.

According to Tim Crump, a family nurse practioner at the Health Center, the University will prescribe birth control if a student needs it for a legitimate medical condition, which is more than some Catholic institutions will do.

Moreover, our University does, in fact, cover birth control in both student and employee insurance plans. We commend the University for doing so before the Obama administration made it a requirement.