Catholic University of America: Unintentional Abortion Coverage for Students Was Not Used

‘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,’ said a CUA statement. ‘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.’

The abortion coverage was not intentional on the university’s part, says CUA. The plan has been amended.
The abortion coverage was not intentional on the university’s part, says CUA. The plan has been amended. (photo: Bumble Dee / Shutterstock.com)

Although it has acknowledged that its student health plan unintentionally covered certain abortion services for the past three years, The Catholic University of America said Monday that no abortion claims occurred during that time.

“Aetna reported that there were no abortion claims paid under the plan,” university spokeswoman Karna Lozoya told CNA. 

Aetna is a health-care provider often used by universities to offer students and staff a university-sponsored health-insurance option. 

CUA’s report comes days after a media report uncovered that the university's student health-care plan provided by Aetna covers abortion “when the pregnancy is the result of rape or incest or if it places the woman’s life in serious danger.”

The College Fix, a news site that features the work of student journalists, originally reported Nov. 9 that CUA was offering the services. 

The news outlet has written a series of stories about student health-care plans at a number of Catholic higher-education institutions that cover abortion services, sterilization surgeries, contraception and even sex-change surgeries, all in contradiction to the explicit teachings of the Catholic Church.

In an earlier statement to CNA, Lozoya explained that the abortion coverage was not intentional on the university’s part.

“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,” she said.

“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. Unfortunately, the change was not intentional on our part. Our health insurance plan for staff never included these exceptions,” the statement continued.

“As a result of our direct communications with Aetna, they have removed all exceptions to the comprehensive exclusion of abortion coverage from our student health plan, and we have removed the plan from our website. An amended plan will be available soon, and it will be explicit that abortion is excluded from coverage,” Lozoya said. “The Catholic University of America apologizes for the error.”

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