The college in Pennsylvania intends to stop its policies from paying for these procedures under those specific circumstances.
The University of Scranton, a Jesuit school, has revealed insurance news affecting its employees, which showed that its insurance plans will no longer be providing coverage for abortion procedures following cases of incest, rape, or pregnancies that threaten the life of the woman.
The college has said that this move aligns with Catholic doctrine and it is therefore removing the coverage from its employee plans.
At the same time, the faculty union of the University of Scranton – which represents approximately 300 of the total 940 people employed by the college – has said that before the insurance news can move forward, its members must first give their approval to the coverage changes. Nine years ago, that same union already negotiated for the removal of elective abortion in favor of receiving coverage for adoption. That said, the current contract does still continue to provide its members with payments for abortions in the specific situations in which the pregnancy was the result of incest, rape, or where it is threatening the life of the mother.
This insurance news is clearly drawing a great deal of controversy in the direction of the college.
The president of the university, Rev. Kevin Quinn, wrote in a letter to the faculty that even insurance coverage for abortions that was limited to those specific circumstances was “inconsistent with the moral teachings of the church.”
This decision by the school has occurred at a time in which the state is preparing for a visit from the first Catholic pope from a Jesuit Order, Pope Francis, which will occur in September. Pope Francis, however, has been calling on the Church to lighten its focus on divisive social issues, which include topics such as homosexuality and abortion.
According to an insurance new statement from a spokesperson for the university, Stan Zygmunt, the Scranton lawyers have found that it is not required to follow the laws of Pennsylvania state when it comes to the traditional abortion coverage in its plans, because the school insures itself. That spokesperson declined to explain how Quinn may proceed if the union members refuse the changes to their coverage.