Santa Clara University

Department of Human Resources

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Why is the University not covering elective abortions (including mifepristone, aka RU-486, when used as an abortifacient) beginning in 2014?

Santa Clara University has designed its medical insurance plans in 2014 to be fully compliant with federal and California laws and regulations while representing the institution's values as a Jesuit Catholic university. The University reaffirms the statement on abortion entitled "Standing for the Unborn," authored by the Jesuits of the United States in March of 2003. The social teachings of the Catholic Church place the dignity of the human person, no matter how small or young or dependent on others, at the center of all concerns for justice.

2. Why is this decision being made now?

In September 2013, the University administration learned from its healthcare plan representatives and insurance carriers that it was now possible for the University health plans to exclude coverage for elective abortion. Prior to this, and as recently as last year, our healthcare plan representatives and carriers asserted that the University was required to cover elective abortions in its healthcare plans because of the carriers' filed contracts with the California Department of Insurance and Department of Managed Care. Upon continued inquiry, the University learned that it could indeed exclude elective abortions from its health plans and not impact the medical benefits and prescription drug coverage that it provides to all of its benefits-eligible employees. Because open enrollment commences in October, the University administration wanted to inform faculty and staff of this change as soon as possible.

3. Are all other procedures and services related to reproductive health remaining in the University health plans?

Yes, all other services related to reproductive health remain in the University health plans. These services include but are not limited to:

4. Do the procedures and services relating to reproductive services contained in the University health plans meet all of the requirements of State and Federal laws and regulations?

Yes, the University's health plans meet all legal requirements under Federal and State law, including the Affordable Care Act and California Assembly Bill 39. California law requires health insurance policies that cover prescription drugs also provide coverage for prescription contraceptive methods approved by the FDA. The University's health plans will continue to do so. Neither California nor Federal law require private employers to provide coverage for elective abortions.

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