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Sunday, August 22, 2010
Students in the University of North Carolina system will now be required to buy a campus health insurance plan that includes abortion coverage if they don’t have a private insurance plan.
Administrators have agreed to allow students on the 16 campuses of UNC to opt out of the abortion coverage of the campus plan if they choose to — but students who do opt out will pay the same premiums as students who do not.
Under the plan, a $500 benefit and 80 percent Preferred Provider Organization coverage is available for “Elective Abortion.” The healthcare coverage costs $744 a year, or $375 a semester, and the premium will automatically appear on a tuition bill unless the student submits proof of private coverage.
Students for Life of America, a pro-life organization with chapters at campuses around the country, has expressed concern that students without private coverage who oppose abortion on moral grounds must nevertheless pay into an insurance pool that subsidizes abortion coverage.
Sarah Hardin, President of North Carolina State University’s Students for Life group, said, “As a pro-life student at N.C. State, I am dismayed that my classmates will not only be forced to purchase health insurance, but will also be forced to pay into a pool that will go to aborting the children of other North Carolina students.”
The university’s policy raises another issue, Students for Life notes on its website: “Federal grant money is directed to universities from taxpayers through the Federal Student Aid Program. Student eligibility for federal grants is determined by the difference in the student’s ability to pay and the total ‘cost of attendance’ for the school.
“As stated by the UNC system, the cost of their abortion healthcare plan … is added to the student’s ‘cost of attendance’ calculation. This in turn, increases the student’s need for federal funds. Because of this increase in need, additional federal funds could be directed to the student to help cover this increase in cost.
“This is using federal taxpayer money for abortion healthcare.”
Kristan Hawkins, Executive Director of Students for Life of America, stated: “The fact that North Carolina students are going to be forced to pay for elective abortions is appalling. We demand that the North Carolina Board of Governors reverse their policy and remove the abortion mandate immediately. Paying for abortions should not be a pre-requisite to learning.”