On Monday, April 2, Father Michael Graham, SJ--the President of Xavier University--announced that the University would no longer allow sterilizations or contraceptives to be accessible through the University healthcare plan offered to employees.
"As a Catholic priest and as a president of a Catholic university, I have concluded that...it is inconsistent for a Catholic institution to cover those drugs and procedures the Church opposes. Consequently, I have directed our Office of Human Resources to work with our insurance carrier, Humana, to no longer cover sterilizations and contraceptives, except for cases of medical necessity for non-contraceptive purposes, effective as of July 1, 2012."
This is a sensible and rational step by Father Michael Graham, SJ in his efforts to uphold Xavier's Jesuit and Catholic identity.
Sadly, many persons opposed to this decision have spread incorrect material regarding it.
In no way is the University forcing its religious beliefs on others.
Any employee at Xavier University--Catholic or not--has access to sterlilzations and birth control if they want it. Birth control and sterilizations are legal, accessible and affordable throughout the United States.
Also, any employee may obtain contraceptives for other medical purposes besides contraception through the University's insurance policy.
The decision to work for or to attend a private, religious institution must come with the realization that the institution's religious tenents will be foundational to its day-to-day decisions.
As a community of faculty, staff, students, alumni, parents and friends, let's show Father Graham our support for his decision to uphold Xavier University's Jesuit and Catholic identity.