Last week, 47 of John Carroll University's roughly 215 faculty members signed a letter to school president Robert L. Niehoff, SJ, asking him to accept the contraception "accommodation" and include such coverage in employee health plans. The faculty members express their concern that "the bishops have chosen a path of continued confrontation." Given that the bishops "have rejected the accommodation offered by the administration," they continue, "leads us to wonder what motivates their continued resistance." Rejecting the bishops' claim that the contraception-coverage mandate constitutes an attack on religious freedom, the faculty argue that mandate "is driven by a concern for women's health." The signatories include the co-founders of the university's new public-health minor program, and members of the following departments: Biology, Classical and Modern Languages and Cultures, Communication and Theater Arts, Education, English, History, the Library, Math and Computer Science, Philosophy, Political Science, Physics, Psychology, Sociology and Criminology, and Theology and Religious Studies."Access to contraception is central to the health and well-being of women and children," according to these faculty members. Therefore, they urge Niehoff to "stand up to those who would play politics with women's health," and "endorse a policy of insurance coverage of contraception that respects the religious liberties and health of all who teach and work at Catholic colleges and universities." (You can view the entire letter here.)Not sure if this is the first letter of its kind, but I doubt it will be the last.

Grant Gallicho joined Commonweal as an intern and was an associate editor for the magazine until 2015. 

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