Catholic Mission and Health Care

The University is unwavering in its fidelity to its Catholic mission, while we recognize among the values in our Catholic tradition is a respect for other religious traditions and the conscientious decisions of members of our community. A tension exists between establishing policies in accord with Catholic teaching and respecting the religious traditions and decisions of the many members of our community. That tension is particularly pronounced in the area of health care, where the University recognizes its responsibility, grounded in its Catholic mission, to provide health insurance to employees, their families and many students, and most of those covered have no financially feasible alternative but to rely on the University for such coverage.

Within this context, the University provides coverage under its medical plans for certain contraceptives. The University will also provide in its plans funding for natural family planning options—options that do not use artificial contraceptives but employ natural methods for preventing conception. The University’s insurance plans have never covered, and will not cover, abortion or abortion-inducing drugs.

We provide to all who sign up for health care benefits the Catholic teaching on contraceptives. The documents at the links below— On Human Life, the 1968 letter of Pope Paul VI, and Married Love and the Gift of Life, a 2006 statement by the United States Bishops—-convey the logic and richness of the teaching. We offer them as guides in the formation of conscience and decision-making about medical care. For those interested in further reading, the Bishops’ statement includes a comprehensive reading list.

On Human Life/ Humanae Vitae (1968 Letter of Pope Paul VI)

Married Love and the Gift of Life (2006 Statement of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops)