Federal contraception law upsets Catholic colleges
The Catholic war on women
Catholic colleges in the San Francisco Bay Area are joining schools nationwide to fight a proposed federal law requiring new health plans to cover birth control, saying the rule violates their right to oppose contraception.
Dozens of schools and organizations have opposed the provision in the federal Affordable Care Act. The proposal, which would take effect Aug. 1, exempts some churches from including contraceptive coverage in the health care plans they offer, but not colleges or other religious groups.
Several Bay Area colleges – including Saint Mary’s College, the University of San Francisco and Santa Clara University – wrote letters of opposition to the U.S. Health and Human Services Department before a comment period on the law ended Sept. 30. Their resistance comes despite the fact they are required by California law to cover contraception for employees, and sometimes students.
Still, the federal law – which is opposed by the 200-member Association of Catholic Colleges and Universities – highlights a modern challenge for faith-based institutions.