Xavier Will Keep the Contraception Benefit

Xavier University, which in April stated it employees health insurance would no longer cover contraception, has reversed its stance.

The policy change was announced in an interview with The Cincinnati Enquirer, although the decision was made earlier, said Kelly Leon, a university spokeswoman. In the interview, the Jesuit universitys president, the Rev. Michael J. Graham, said he faults himself for his handling of the situation. While he disagrees strongly with the mandate, he told the newspaper, he said he believes universities should set a moderate example for the nation.

Its good to see a Jesuit university setting a moderate example, even as its president reiterates his opposition to the mandate. Its also interesting to note that while some Catholic colleges had provided contraception coverage nominally because state law required it, Xavier had done so in a state that doesnt: Ohio.In his original statement rescinding coverage, Father Graham said, Absent a legal mandate, it is inconsistent for a Catholic institution to cover those drugs and procedures which the church opposes. The change was to have gone into effect on July 1, but after protests from the Xavier community the president agreed to keep the coverage until December. Now, apparently with the mandate provided by the Supreme Courts June upholding of the Affordable Care Act, Xaviers coverage will simply remain in place.

Dominic Preziosi is Commonweal’s editor. Follow him on Twitter.

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