Thursday, April 23, 2009

Faculty Union Forces USF to Keep Abortion Coverage

Valerie Schmalz at OSV continues to report on the controversy concerning abortion health care coverage at the Jesuit Run University of San Francisco. As first reported at The Catholic Key Blog, the University had initiated a mandatory student health insurance plan which included abortion coverage.

After an article on the subject appeared in OSV, USF announced that it was dropping such coverage from the student plan. The University also said it would seek to remove abortion coverage from its employee Blue Cross plan, while it was unable to remove such coverage from another employee Kaiser Health plan.

Now Schmalz reports that USF will not be able to remove abortion coverage from the Blue Cross plan due to objections from the USF Faculty Association, excerpts (emphases mine):

The USF Faculty Association president, Elliot Neaman, said today that if the university tries to remove the abortion benefit, it would file an unfair labor practice complaint.

Whether abortion involves the killing of a child is “not relevant,” Neaman told OSV. “You are mixing up morality and contractual obligations,” he said. . .

. . .“It is my duty to enforce a contact," Neaman said. "The university cannot unilaterally change the contract. They have to go to the bargaining table. All benefits are negotiated. The Faculty Association contract expires in 2011." The issue can be renegotiated, “if they choose to put that on the table. All the ideological religious stuff is completely irrelevant," he said. . .

. . .Neaman said the Catholic Church’s opposition to abortion is irrelevant, Neaman said, because USF is not legally a Catholic university.

Read her whole post. I may have a post on the history of the USF Faculty Association later.