Aug 11, 2009 / 01:09 am
Revisiting a case that had been thought closed, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has ruled that Belmont Abbey College’s decision to remove contraception from its faculty health care policy, in accordance with Catholic teaching, discriminated against women.
After a faculty member discovered that contraception, abortion and voluntary sterilization were covered by the North Carolina college’s health care policy, the drugs and procedures were removed from the plan in December 2007. Though the state of North Carolina requires this coverage, it offers an exemption for religious institutions.
Explaining the decision to end the coverage, college president Dr. William Thierfelder had written:
“The teaching of the Catholic Church on this moral issue is clear. The responsibility of the College as a Catholic College sponsored by the monks of Belmont Abbey to follow Church teaching is equally clear. There was no other course of action possible if we were to operate in fidelity to our mission and to our identity as a Catholic College.”