USD calls itself a Catholic college that “attracts from the knowledge of its Catholic custom and supplies means for its members to develop of their understanding and expression of the Catholic religion.”
However the College of San Diego isn’t Catholic sufficient, based on some.
Sparked by a crucial article in The Faculty Repair about USD serving to “college students get abortions” by way of its medical health insurance plan, different media shops amped up the anger.
“The College of San Diego, which ranks as one among America’s prime 10 Catholic universities and because the third-best Catholic college in California, pays 100% of the negotiated cost in its Aetna medical health insurance plan for college kids needing to kill their infants,” stated the Church Militant on July 19.
The headline at Worldwide Household Information: “College of San Diego covers abortion, defies Catholic Church instructing.”
On CatholicVote.org, feedback included: “Excommunicate the supporters and defund the College!” and “Pray for the conversion to Christ of Cardinal McIlroy (sic).”
The present crop of tales slamming the Alcalá Park college hint to 2 Could rulings in federal court docket, together with one involving the Skyline Wesleyan megachurch in Rancho San Diego.
Skyline and three different church buildings had challenged California’s abortion-coverage mandate. They gained their case — in addition to $1.4 million in attorneys charges.
“The federal government can’t power a church or another non secular employer to violate their religion and conscience by taking part in funding abortion,” stated Jeremiah Galus, senior counsel for Alliance Defending Freedom, which represented the church buildings.
These court docket rulings imply that the state’s Division of Managed Well being Care should permit exemptions for non secular employers who balk at paying for elective abortions for insurance-covered employees.
So Faculty Repair reporter William Hurley of Hope Faculty wrote to USD and requested if it will search a waiver, thus denying feminine college students abortion protection.
Faculty spokeswoman Lissette Martinez replied: “USD’s worker and scholar profit plans are required to align with state and federal rules. The companies talked about are sometimes these which are required to be lined, and people are inspired to seek the advice of with their medical supplier concerning the most effective course of remedy for any medical concern.”
Every week in the past, Instances of San Diego requested USD officers in regards to the federal rulings.
Cameran Zech, USD affiliate director of media relations, replied with a press release leaving out a reference to federal guidelines.
“As an unbiased, Catholic college working within the State of California, the College of San Diego is obligated to align our scholar and worker medical health insurance plans with state regulation,” Zech stated. “We encourage our group members to seek the advice of with their medical suppliers on the most effective course of remedy for any medical concern.”
In accordance with Kevin Durawa, a state spokesman, the Knox-Keene Well being Care Service Plan Act of 1975 requires DMHC-regulated well being plans to supply primary well being care companies to enrollees.
“The California Structure prohibits well being plans from discriminating in opposition to girls who select to terminate a being pregnant,” he stated. “The DMHC follows the regulation, and has taken steps to make sure ‘non secular employers’ might buy merchandise in compliance with the regulation.”
Because of this, DMHC permitted Skyline’s request for an abortion-coverage exemption as a non secular employer in compliance with the regulation and court docket order, Durawa stated.
‘Spiritual Employer’ at Challenge
The Faculty Repair story stated USD chief spokeswoman Martinez ignored questions in regards to the federal rulings and whether or not her college would apply for a state waiver.
Church buildings are one factor. However what about Catholic faculties? Can they drop abortion companies from their scholar well being plans?
“The DMHC opinions exemption requests based mostly on the necessities within the regulation. Well being and Security Code part 1367.25(c)(1) defines the time period ‘non secular employer,’” Durawa replied Friday, including that the DMHC has not acquired a request from the College of San Diego.
(Amongst different issues, a “non secular employer” is one with the aim of inculcating “non secular values,” primarily employs those that share its non secular tenets and primarily serves folks holding its non secular tenets.)
“If an employer, together with the College, believes they fall beneath a non secular exemption beneath the regulation, they need to contact the DMHC,” the state spokesman stated by way of e mail.
What say USD?
“The College of San Diego doesn’t qualify as a non secular employer beneath the cited statute,” stated Zech, who later responded to a follow-up, saying: “The College of San Diego is a religiously affiliated college that’s not exempt from sure state and federal legal guidelines.”
USD had 8,815 college students (undergraduate and graduate) within the fall of 2022, the newest knowledge out there, with 3,769 college students recognized as male and 5,046 recognized as feminine.
All college students are required by the Inexpensive Care Act to have medical insurance coverage, however about 1,600 college students — or 18% of complete enrollment — have opted in to the college’s $3,876-a-year Aetna well being plan, which covers abortion companies.
Aetna didn’t reply to questions on what number of USD college students up to now two years have gotten abortions beneath their plan.
It’s laborious to estimate abortions on campus, stated a spokeswoman for the Guttmacher Institute, the abortion-rights assume tank that tracks such knowledge.
“We do know that abortion is a quite common expertise, and 1 in 4 girls will get an abortion of their lifetime, however that can not be used to make an inference or prediction a couple of particular group,” stated the rep, Isabel Guarnieri. “Nearly all of abortion sufferers are additionally dwelling with low-incomes, already dad and mom, and are disproportionately Black and Brown based mostly on pervasive racial well being disparities that affect peoples entry to contraceptive choices and different sexual and reproductive healthcare.”
USD Abortions Unknown
Guarnieri shared newest statistics however confused that that the “demographic traits are far too advanced to make predictions on a selected inhabitants.”
The Faculty Repair — a Hillsdale, Michigan-based conservative web site aiming to recruit future journalists — has singled out USD up to now on its abortion and gender affirming protection.
Affiliate Editor Matt Lamb — who as soon as labored at College students for Lifetime of America, College students for Life Motion and Turning Level USA — wrote of USD in November 2021: “College students (there) who need to chop off their genitals or lower off their breasts can get monetary assist via the college’s well being plan.”
Instances of San Diego requested Lamb why USD’s insurance policies have been questioned however not different main Catholic faculties in California.
He replied: “USD is the one one in California thus far that particularly talked about state and federal rules in a response to us, so once I noticed the court docket settlements I believed it’d be a great way to press them additional on that clarification.”
He added: “You’ve an important thought to really go and ask every California college why they nonetheless cowl abortions, I’ll assign a narrative on that, thanks for the suggestion.”
Final week’s Hurley story on USD additionally famous that the San Diego diocese, “which is led by the liberal Cardinal Robert McElroy,” declined to touch upon the actions of a Catholic college in its jurisdiction. (The diocese didn’t reply to our request for remark both.)
McElroy is a longtime punching bag for the Church Militant and different conservative media shops for not making abortion the No. 1 concern for Catholic consideration.
“Primarily based in your questions, I’m guessing you perceive Catholic Church politics,” Lamb wrote. “We’ve lined quite a few Catholic universities positioned beneath the jurisdiction of each liberal prelates (i.e. only in the near past Loyola Chicago) and conservative prelates (i.e. College of San Francisco, Fordham College).”
He stated he began writing about this concern 9 years in the past. He additionally stated he doesn’t see abortion companies lined at Santa Clara College, one other Catholic college.
Santa Clara and two different main state Catholic faculties — Loyola Marymount College and the College of San Francisco — additionally provide Aetna scholar well being plans. They didn’t reply to requests for remark.
Cardinal Not in Cost
USD was based as separate girls’s and males’s faculties — by a convent head and a San Diego bishop. Together with its Faculty of Regulation, they merged in July 1972, ruled by its personal Board of Trustees, which included clerics from the San Diego diocese.
In accordance with Wikipedia, the college is now not ruled immediately by the Diocese of San Diego.
“As we speak, a lay board of trustees governs the college’s operations. Nevertheless, the Bishop of San Diego, Robert W. McElroy, retains a seat as a everlasting member and retains management of the college’s designation of ‘Catholic,’” a dated article says.
(Nevertheless, McElroy isn’t listed now — both on USD’s board, as a member of any latest committee and even amongst its “Trustees Emeriti.”)
However McElroy celebrates Mass on the parish Immaculata Church and provides talks on campus, which additionally hosts the diocese’s St. Francis Heart for Priestly Formation, comprising “each the Workplace for Priestly Formation of the Diocese of San Diego and a home of formation for males getting ready for admission to a seminary college of theology.”