California Reverses Decision Allowing Catholic Colleges to Refuse to Cover Abortion
Two Catholic universities in California will no longer be allowed to exclude abortion coverage from their health insurance plans, according to a decision from the state;s Department of Managed Health Care.
"Abortion is a basic health care service," said the department's director, Michelle Rouillard, in the letter. "The California Constitution prohibits health plans from discriminating against women who choose to terminate a pregnancy. Thus, all health plans must treat maternity services and legal abortion neutrally."
The universities employ around 1,000 people each. Faculty groups at both universities protested the exclusion of abortion coverage.
Other religious colleges have tried to cut abortion and contraceptive coverage as well by challenging the contraceptive coverage mandate of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), which requires health insurance providers to cover preventive health services including all FDA-approved contraceptives, such as the pill, emergency contraceptives, and IUDs without charging co-pays, deductibles, or co-insurance. In July, a majority of the US Supreme Court granted a temporary emergency injunction to Wheaton College, a Christian college in Illinois, ruling that the school does not have to comply with the ACA contraceptive coverage benefit.
Media Resources: SF Gate 8/22/14; Inside Higher Ed 8/25/14; Department of Managed Health Care 8/22/14; ACLU of Northern California 8/22/14; Feminist Newswire 7/7/14
9/22/2014 Climate Change Activists Take Over Manhattan to Demand Action - An estimated 400,000 people took to the streets of Manhattan over the weekend to demand world leaders take action on climate change.
The People's Climate March, which some are calling the single largest call for climate action ever, took place ahead of Tuesday's emergency UN Climate Summit.
Joining the march were several labor unions, former Vice President Al Gore, UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, and celebrities Leonardo DiCaprio and Edward Norton. . . .