The University of San Diego (USD) is a Catholic higher education institution. But its health plan for the 2021-2022 school year covers a number of medical procedures and drugs that are directly opposed to the moral teaching of the Catholic Church.

The university said that it is required to cover the services, including abortion, sex-change surgeries, voluntary sterilization and abortifacient birth control due to state and federal law.

A spokesperson would not explain which laws require it.

“USD’s employee and student benefit plans are required to align with state and federal regulations,” spokesperson Lissette Martinez told The College Fix via email on August 6.

“The services mentioned 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.”

“Aside from the government mandates as it relates to our insurance benefits,” Martinez said, “USD has a long-standing position as a Catholic university of not promoting such services as they are inconsistent with the university’s Catholic identity and our values.”

She did not respond to a follow-up email on August 6 that asked for clarification on what state and federal regulations mandate the coverage of those services.

While the university said that it has to cover abortion and birth control and other services, its own theology and religious studies chair is glad that students can get abortions paid for by the health insurance plan.

“If the Church’s teaching is not in itself persuasive to patients, coercive tactics that restrict people’s healthcare decisions will not help,” Professor Emily Reimer-Barry told The College Fix, when asked if the university should not cover medical services deemed a serious sin by the Catholic Church.

“More attention should be given to genuine assistance, compassion for people in difficult circumstances, and efforts to listen to their needs and experiences without judgment, blame, or shame.”

“Taking away health care from people facing traumatic medical decisions is not the way forward,” the theology professor said, after elaborating on other issues she sees as “pro-life,” including “white supremacy” and “the gender pay gap.”

Reimer-Barry – a self-identified feminist and Catholic – researches “feminist theology and spirituality, cross-cultural analysis of gender roles and marriage traditions, reproductive justice, and the intersection of public health and Catholic social teachings.”

“Dr. Reimer-Barry is currently working on a grant-funded Wabash cohort project on anti-racist pedagogies as well as a book project focusing on reproductive justice and Catholic ethics,” according to her faculty bio.

The above comes from an August 16th story by Life Site News.