South Bend, Ind., Sep 30, 2011 / 04:02 am
The University of Notre Dame added to the wave of criticism leveled at the proposed Health and Human Services mandate that requires health insurance providers to cover contraception and offers a narrow exemption for religious groups.
President Father John Jenkins, C.S.C., wrote in a Sept. 28 letter to HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius that the mandate places the school in the “impossible position” of having to defy Church teaching.
The department announced federal rules on Aug. 1 that will require nearly all new health plans, including those of most religious agencies, to cover all government-approved methods of contraception as well as surgical sterilization.
The guidelines, which were created in response to the 2010 health care law, require new health insurance plans to cover what it calls “women’s preventive services.” These include breastfeeding support, domestic violence screening and contraception without charging a co-payment, co-insurance or a deductible.