President DeGioia responds to contraceptive petition, holds status quo
In response to the recent petitions on contraceptive coverage on campus, President John J. DeGioia sent an email to the Georgetown community this morning. He stated that after careful consideration, the university opted to retain their current health insurance model, noting that there would be no changes in contraceptive coverage in 2013 as well. DeGioia cited the plan’s adherence to the school’s Catholic and Jesuit identity, in addition to their voluntary nature.
The most notable petition was signed last Thursday by over 700 students, including law student Sandra Fluke and Georgetown’s Law Students for Reproductive Justice. This action followed a similar petition from the Law Center’s faculty, in which 66 members of the law faculty expressed similar disdain over the university’s current healthcare plan.
The full text of the email is below:
April 26, 2012
To the Members of the Georgetown University Community
Dear Ladies and Gentlemen:
I write to you regarding Georgetown’s health insurance and contraceptive coverage in our plans. Many members of our community have expressed different perspectives on this issue. I am grateful for the respectful ways in which you have shared your opinions.
As you know, like most universities, Georgetown requires that students have health insurance. Students are not required to purchase their health insurance through Georgetown University and are free to acquire health insurance through a third party. The student plan offered by Georgetown is consistent with our Catholic and Jesuit identity and does not cover prescription contraceptives for birth control. It does provide coverage for these prescriptions for students who require them for health reasons unrelated to birth control, as determined by a physician.
After thoughtful and careful consideration, we will continue our current practice for contraceptive coverage in our student health insurance for the coming year, as allowed for under the current rules issued by the United States Department of Health and Human Services.
There will also be no change to the University’s approach to contraceptive coverage for employees for 2013.
We will be monitoring further regulatory and judicial developments related to the Affordable Care Act. I hope this is helpful in clarifying a matter of concern to many of you.
You have my very best wishes as we conclude our academic year.
John J. DeGioia