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Catholic University of San Diego won’t explain why it helps students get abortions

ANALYSIS: The University of San Diego continues to offer its students abortions despite no clear mandate to do so

The University of San Diego continues to cite state and federal law as the reason why it covers abortions in its student health plan for the upcoming school year but it will not name what laws require it.

Furthermore, a recent court settlement would seem to support the Catholic university’s ability to opt out of the coverage, but the school will not tell The College Fix if it plans to pursue legal recourse.

The university health insurance plan also pays for “gender-affirming treatment,” which is used to assist a person who is confused about their gender in presenting themselves as the opposite sex.

“USD’s employee and student benefit plans are required to align with state and federal regulations,” Senior Director of Media Relations Lissette Martinez told The College Fix via email.  “The services mentioned [abortion and transgender drugs and surgeries] are typically those that are required to be covered, and individuals are encouraged to consult with their medical provider regarding the best course of treatment for any medical concern.”

Martinez ignored a specific question about a pair of federal court rulings, and subsequent legal settlement, that allowed a handful of Protestant churches to opt-out of California mandate that health insurance plans cover abortion. The Fix specifically asked USD if it planned to seek a similar waiver.

The university has yet to respond to a follow-up request sent three weeks ago that asked for clarification and specifically asked what federal law USD is citing, since the Catholic University of America does not cover abortion in its student health plan despite being subject to the same federal regulations.

The university made similar comments when asked in 2021 for more information.

The diocese, which is led by the liberal Cardinal Robert McElroy, declined to comment on the actions of a Catholic university in its jurisdiction.

External Media and Community Relations Director Kevin Eckery responded that “this is something for USD to comment on” and redirected the questions to the university’s press office.

Those comments appear to be in conflict with the Code of Canon Law, which governs the Catholic Church. Canon 810 specifies that bishops “have the duty and right of being watchful so that the principles of Catholic doctrine are observed faithfully in [Catholic] universities.”

MORE: FBI seeks info on pro-abortion threat to campus Catholics

This redirection is in line with the diocese’s previous statement in 2021, when Eckery stated that he was “unaware of what student health insurance covers or doesn’t cover.” He made those comments in 2021 despite being provided in the original inquiry with a copy of the student health plan.

The Catholic Church has historically affirmed the sanctity of human life and considered abortion a grave sin.

“Since the first century the Church has affirmed the moral evil of every procured abortion,” the Catechism of the Catholic church explains. The Catechism details the teachings of the Catholic Church.

“This teaching has not changed and remains unchangeable. Direct abortion, that is to say, abortion willed either as an end or a means, is gravely contrary to the moral law,” it states.

Pope Francis, who elevated Cardinal McElroy from a bishop to a cardinal, which means he can vote for the next pope, has criticized gender ideology and transgenderism.

Pope Francis has called gender ideology “one of the most dangerous ideological colonizations.”

The Catechism, as well as writings from Pope Francis, reinforce the teaching on the immutability of sex.

This is not the only Catholic university that pays for abortions and transgender drugs and surgeries, as Loyola University Chicago continues to cover the procedures. The Jesuit Catholic university’s medical school also trains students in “transgender children” healthcare, as recently reported by The Fix.

MORE: USD has now hidden Junipero Serra statue for two years

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About the Author
College Fix contributor William Hurley is a student at Hope College where he studies political science and theology. He is active in many clubs including Hope Republicans, Hope Catholics, and Students Cherishing Life. He has written for the Hope College student newspaper, The Anchor.