Report: NY Catholic institutions have been offering contraception coverage for years

From the New York Times:

Although Archbishop Timothy M. Dolan of New York has been leading the national fight against requiring Roman Catholic hospitals, universities and charities to cover birth control in their health insurance plans for employees and students, some Catholic institutions in his own diocese and others throughout New York State have for 10 years been complying with state law mandating precisely that coverage.

The state began requiring contraception coverage in 2002, and Catholic institutions, after losing a court battle over the issue, have followed the law. Historically Catholic institutions like Fordham University, which is run by a lay board of trustees in the tradition of the Jesuit religious order, provide contraception coverage for employees and students.

Fordham, which has 15,000 undergraduate and graduate students, seeks to comply with Catholic teaching by prohibiting its student health center from prescribing or dispensing birth control pills unless they are used for conditions like severe acne or endometriosis, according to Bob Howe, Fordham’s director of communications. Students who seek birth control pills to prevent pregnancies must obtain prescriptions from a private doctor or a service like Planned Parenthood, and the college’s insurance carrier will then cover the pills under its standard reimbursement schedule.

“We currently follow New York State law,” Mr. Howe said. “For employees and students, we provide insurance coverage that includes contraception. That’s the law.”

New York is one of the 28 states that require insurance companies to cover contraception. According to the White House, Colorado, Georgia and Wisconsin have no exemptions from that requirement, while California, New York and North Carolina have limited religious exemptions, identical to the limited exemptions the Obama administration proposed to put in place nationally.

Joseph Zwilling, a spokesman for the Archdiocese of New York, referred questions about the archdiocese’s practices to Dennis Poust, a spokesman for the New York State Catholic Conference, who did not immediately return a call. But Mr. Poust was quoted in The Buffalo News as saying of the state’s requirement: “In many cases, there was no other choice but to comply under protest. None of it is voluntary. It is all under duress.”

Read more.


  1. Mark LaVergne says:

    As the NY State Catholic conference spokesman points out, it is not voluntary, but done under duress.

  2. pagansister says:

    Yes, Mark, as the NY Catholic conference spokesman said, it may be done under protest—but it is done, according to law and that is good.

  3. It stinks

  4. Sue from Buffalo says:

    pagansister, what makes that good? That an evil is being forced upon them?

    RomCath is right. It stinks.

  5. And the plot thickens.

    The rest of the mainstream media are not likely to be as kind as the NY Times is in this piece.

  6. I would venture to guess most Catholic organizations already do provide this benefit and aren’t all that broken up by it. I certainly hope I’m wrong. Catholic organizations purchase health insurance plans for their employees from mainstream providers that aren’t Catholic and this aspect of the plan is already there.

    I find it ironic that insurance plans are willing to provide “free” (and let’s face it: it ain’t free. You’re paying for it. We’re all paying for it.) contraceptive drugs. I would love to know the total cost of providing this benefit. Yet the insurance company just jacked up our ER copay to $150. That’s a 50% increase over last year. So you can have your drugs for free, but if my kid breaks a leg I can’t afford to take him to the ER. Thanks.

  7. I find it ironic that insurance plans are willing to provide “free” (and let’s face it: it ain’t free. You’re paying for it. We’re all paying for it.) contraceptive drugs.

    It is being stated, however, that it costs the carrier less to provide the drugs than it does to provide the pregnancy care.

  8. Do insurance plans offer “free” lipitor, insulin or any real medicine. I don’t think so.

  9. deacon john m. bresnahan says:

    Maybe it is time for a little civil disobediance. It isn’t just the issue of contraception and abortificants. It isn’t just about the First Amendment. It is both these added with our government(s)’ lust for power and determination to bulldoze anything out of the way that might keep them from ruling as petty dictators.
    And the courts, so far have been little help (in spite of their recent slap at the Obama Admin. for wanting to muck around in clergy personnel issues.)The courts have had a tendency to act like the Cheshire Cat and rule any old way it feels like doing. And as extreme liberal Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg recently observed–”noone should copy our outdated Constitution.” Then why is she staying on the court to interpret a document she disses??She is also the one who said our courts should use other contries Constitutions to interpret ours.

  10. Well this has to stop. The mistake was that they did not mobilize rank and file Catholics. This is unacceptable. NY state Catholic institutions should stop immediately and defy the law.

  11. Chris Sullivan says:

    The standard Catholic moral theology rules allow remote material cooperation with evil for a proportionate good and that is what Catholic institutions have been doing re laws requiring contraception coverage.

    The reality is that in a fallen world there is not much one can do without in someway being involved with one kind of evil or another.

    For example, very probably the machines we use to browse the internet are produced under unfair working conditions which violate Catholic social teaching. To what extent are we complicit in that evil by using them ?

    To answer these sorts of questions, Catholic moral theology developed distinctions between formal and material cooperation (did we seek the evil or only tolerate it as an unwanted side effect) and immediate or remote (how closely were we involved in the evil).

    Bp Morlino in Madison and other bishops have applied these standard rules and concluded that contraception coverage was only remote material cooperation. They didn’t like it but they understood that there cooperation was permissible for the greater proportionate good of providing decent health coverage.

    I think we can be proud that our Catholic tradition offers us these helpful tools of moral theology to help us navigate the often tricky waters of cooperation with evil.

    God Bless

  12. deacon john m. bresnahan says:

    First of all included in forced coverage are abortificants (under the heading of all approved drugs for contraception use by the government). Which rachets up the level of evil in the mandate. Second, the way the mandate is worded it is hard to refer to it as causing only remote complicity in the arrangement.
    Besides–has this president got a dictatorial complex or what. One can only imagine a second term where he is not seeking re-election. I refer to the utter surprise the insurance companies expressed after Obama publicly announced that the insurance companies will be ordered to pay the costs. Someone should tell this president this is still a representative democracy and should stop issuing diktats without even talking with the most affected parties. Jackboots don’t look good on an American president.

  13. pagansister says:

    Evil is in the eye of the beholder.

  14. Sue from Buffalo says:

    No. Evil is.

  15. Right Sue.
    To say evil is in the eye of the beholder is to deny that there are certain things that are intrinsically evil.

  16. Priest were molesting boys for years as well with the Bishops seeming to be sleep walking if not directly covering it up. So using the NY Times argument that it is being done in NY justify’s that the bishops need to go along on a national basis, one could use the same argument that since they were asleep while grave sin was being committed on children it justifies making it nationally OK for priest to abuse children? The media screamed that bishops were sleeping or covering up grave sin. So lets bash them for allowing this type of cooperation with grave evil on their watch, not say that this means it is somehow OK.

    I Think Rip VanBishop is now awake and we need to fight hard now to keep them alert with ongoing constant emails to the diocese offices and to the USCCB. No more cooperation with the party of death. Unite in a cause to stop the holocaust of children that is 8 times worse than the nazi holocaust in the death camps.

  17. And to say this is intrinsically evil is in itself evil. Stupid too.

  18. Fordham and certain other “Catholic” institutions haven’t really been Catholic for years, so this is hardly surprising. Even the Times had to add the qualifier “Historically Catholic institutions like Fordham University, which is run by a lay board of trustees in the tradition of the Jesuit religious order….”. Obviously very selectively in the “tradition of the Jesuit religious order”. St. Ignatius must be very upset.

  19. The best way to deal with this evil is to quote Jesus from the New Testament! Lets show from the example of Jesus Christ how he actively fought government regulations. We can use Jesus’ own words to throw Caesars’ coin back in his face! Lets excommunicate all the false Catholics who knowingly sin in the eyes of God by obstructing conception. We do not need to waver when our conviction is absolute. If you see members of your parish with less than three or four children, or who fornicate and cohabitate, have aborted, or have a sexually transmitted disease remember Deuteronomy 13:9 “Your hand shall be the first raised to slay him; the rest of the people shall join in with you. You shall stone him to death, because he sought to lead you astray…”
    We will then have the 2% of sinless Catholics with our backs to the Church with our throwing stones gathered at our feet. In the name of Jesus Christ His Will Be Done. We can stop these unspeakably evil women openly receiving reproductive health care. What could be more Christian than that?

  20. Sue from Buffalo says:

    Mike, what are ya talking about? To call evil what it is is both evil and stupid???

    No. When something is evil…it is evil. Plain and simple. You might not agree with us but that doesn’t change a thing.

  21. Sue from Buffalo says:

    From Father Z’s blog:

    And here we come face-to-face with the essence of what a certain Joseph Ratzinger famously described in an April 2005 homily as “the dictatorship of relativism.” Most people think of tyrannies as involving the imposition of a defined set of ideas upon free citizens. Benedict XVI’s point was that the coercion at the heart of the dictatorship of relativism derives precisely from the fact that it “does not recognize anything as definitive.”

  22. Dedicated Catholic says:


    You do not reprepresent yourself well by such stupid remarks as “Evil is in the eye of the beholder.” Please, spend some time processing your thoughts before posting. If you were correct, then we would be justified in burning you at the stake, because from our point of view, you are a Satan worshipper. Now, you can’t possibly mean THAT, could you? Really, this topic requires serious discussion, not quips and soundbites. Honestly.

  23. pagansister says:

    Well, Dedicated Catholic, FYI, I’m not a “Satan worshipper” because I don’t happen to believe in Satan. Do I belive that some things are indeed “evil”. Yes, of course. Everyone views different things or situations in different ways. I might consider that eating meat is evil because that meat came from a live animal and it had to be killed to provide a steak. You might not agree with me. I might consider a convicted murderer evil, and agree that he/she must be executed. You might say that he/she should just spent the rest of his/her life in jail, as you disagree with the death penalty. I suppose I should go on and on. I don’t happen to find ABC “evil” or against nature. I expect you do. Thus “evil is in the eye of the beholder”. Just a statement—which, BTW, I DID think about before I wrote it on this serious discussion.

  24. friscoeddie says:

    All Catholic BC done under GOP state mandates??? Ha . posters, please announce if your own plan has BC coverage. Mine, the biggest plan in Ca does and I’m not canceling. [I'm 80 (-:]….My grandchildren are covered to age 26 in their parents’ plans, thanks to Obama and I’m not encouraging them to cancel either. So before you post tripe again, tell us what your plan covers and what your going to do about your BC coverage. No Catholic college or hospital called to cancel their BC coverage last Friday.. . We await Monday, all day to see how many cancellations for health Ins. are made.. silly people.. The bishops’ quibbling makes me ashamed just like the abuse cover up..

  25. Sue from Buffalo says:

    friscoeddie, I think you need to go to a good priest for confession. That was absolutely shameful.

  26. friscoeddie says:

    Sue from Buffalo ; Are you covered for BC.? .it’s reported that the Catholic Hospitals and Catholic college? in Buffalo are covering BC according to NY law.. Buffalo confession lines should be very long but none are being formed.

  27. Don’t expect much from Pagan except anti_Catholicsm. She doesn’t believe in God nor Satan. Need I say more?

  28. 26 years old and still on mommy and daddy’s insurance? Wow. Something to be really proud of. Must be nice not to work but I guess that’s Frisco and all that legal pot.
    What are you ashamed of? Bishops taking a stand? Most Catholics I know are thrilled. 80 and you don’t know the cafeteria is closed?

  29. Sue from Buffalo says:

    I agree that Buffalo confession lines should be long but that doesn’t change what you said earlier and you should still be ashamed.

    friscoeddie, why aren’t you understanding this? Why are you in support of FORCING all Catholics institutions, Catholic lay people, etc to provide/pay for birth control, sterilization and drug-inducing abortions?

    You should be ashamed of yourself for saying, “thanks to Obama” and for ripping into the Bishops. I am so ashamed of you. You are 80 years old and should know better.

    You left the Catholic Church but you don’t have the guts to admit it.

  30. Sue from Buffalo:
    Re: your comment to friscoeddie: “You left the Catholic Church but you don’t have the guts to admit it.”

    Ad hominem comments like that contribute nothing but ill will to the discussion.

    For the record:
    I am a practicing Catholic (who will continue to be practicing until I get it right). I have been involved in the Church’s educational ministry for many years on many levels – diocesan, parish, university, high school, etc. I find many of friscoeddie’s comments to resonate with mine.

  31. It was also the law that persons subject to the Roman authorities worship the image of the Emperor, and Christians refused to do it then. Some of them chose execution instead.
    It’s time that the Church stand up for what it believes in and refuse to pay for something that is objectively immoral. We need Bishops with backbone. I have yet to see one, willing to put himself in front of the firing line, both literally and figuratively.

  32. The Law is an Ass- an idiot
    — Mr Bumble, Oliver Twist, C. Dickens

  33. Re: fresco eddie
    Look, alot of Catholics work for non denominational organizations who have health insurance that covers BC. The onus should never have been on the organizations to NOT offer the coverage. The onus should ALWAYS be on the Individual Catholics to not use BC.

    Just because I can get it free, doesn`t mean I can or will

  34. And the Roman law applied to individuals, not organizations. If Obama passes a law that forces each person to use BC, then each individual catholic should rise up against it.

  35. Sue from Buffalo says:

    HMS, I meant what I said. If you are for Obama’s push to force the Catholic Church to provide free birth control, free sterilization and free abortion-inducing drugs (remember, some of the institutions like EWTN are self-insuring) then you have, in effect, excommunicated yourself from the Catholic Church. Abortion itself is one of the non-negotiables of the Catholic church. Birth control is considered a mortal sin. Ripping into the Bishops for fighting this sounds to me like you are ok with it. If that resonates with you then you are not with Rome.

    I am a convert. Your credentials mean nothing if you are not in line with the Church.
    Feel free to correct me if I’m wrong but this is what friscoeddie said: “The bishops’ quibbling makes me ashamed just like the abuse cover up..”


  36. Sue from Buffalo says:

    I just heard that the fight in NYS against our state mandate is in the courts and has been for a year. So you see, we have been fighting it.

  37. pagansister says:

    RomCath: You are correct that I don’t belive in Satan, because I said so. You, however, know nothing about my other beliefs–whether I believe in God or anyone else. You assume I don’t, you don’t know.

  38. Cathy’s comment is indicative of what is wrong in our country. Insurance companies own healthcare. The reason ER visits go up is because there are so many people without insurance. They don’t have a regular doctor. If we have universal healthcare people will be covered and not forced to lose everything they own if their child gets sick! Rick Santorum is a person who just turns my stomach! He is lucky enough to afford healthcare for his family and his sick daughter. If a family without healthcare had a child with the same illness they would lose everything or she wouldn’t get the care she needed. Santorum accepted taxpayer under healthcare in the Senate, people who couldn’t afford healthcare for their own children paid for his family to have it. Will he deny his healthcare if he becomes president? No, don’t think so. He will happily accept insurance coverage from people who can’t afford it themselves! President Obama’s plan isn’t perfect, but at least he realizes the hypocrisy that exists. All the republicans in congress who fight against a healthcare bill happily accept a government healthcare insurance for their precious families. They are a joke and the catholic church should fight for universal healthcare for all not for the hypocrites!

  39. friscoeddie says:

    “So you see, we have been fighting it’
    and paying in every month and will be paying after ..when they lose

  40. Sue from Buffalo says:

    Remember, friscoeddie, never show encouragement when someone does something right. Ruins the moment.

  41. [Comment deleted for racist content. -- Ed.]

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