The following comes from an Oct. 21 release from the Cardinal Newman Society.

In light of recent announcements from Catholic colleges in California concerning their coverage of elective abortion, St. Mary’s College in Moraga,Calif., a liberal arts institution run by the Christian Brothers of St. John Baptist de La Salle, is the latest to announce it too is reassessing its coverage.

Loyola Marymount University announced in late August they were dropping abortion coverage. After protests from faculty and staff, and nationwide coverage, the board of trustees voted to drop abortion coverage, but allow employees to purchase third-party insurance at their own expense that included abortion coverage.

And more recently Santa Clara University announced that it is dropping abortion coverage from their health insurance plan.

Now, according to the college’s website, St. Mary’s announced, “in light of [the actions oft hese other universities], the College is reviewing the essential benefits requirement under California law and the options offered by our health care providers.”

The memo which appears on the college’s website states that the reassessment is being done “in light of our commitment to our Catholic mission.”

This announcement came just days after the inauguration of Saint Mary’s new president, James A. Donahue.

Donahue in his inauguration speech, available for viewing at the college’s website, cited the college’s Catholic identity as one of the cornerstones of the institution. “I believe Catholic higher education at its core is a spiritual practice,” he said. “Who we are, and what we do is grounded and informed by what it means to be Catholic, being part of a tradition and a Church with deep and profound beliefs.”

In a recent article profiling abortion coverage at California Catholic colleges, Notre Dame de Namur University and Dominican University of California both told The Contra Costa Times that their employee insurance covers elective abortions.

To read the entire release, click here.

The following comes from an Oct. 18 story in the Mercury News.

The flap over Santa Clara University’s decision to drop health insurance coverage of elective abortions continued to resonate Friday on the Jesuit campus as a well-regarded faculty member resigned from the school’s ethics center.

Stephen Diamond, an associate professor of law, said he decided to cut ties to the Markkula Center for Applied Ethics — where he is also an ethics scholar — because he believes the center and its director, Kirk Hanson, are acting as an arm of the president’s office.

Hanson was among three university faculty members who this week coordinated two forums for faculty and staff to discuss what many think was a unilateral decision by SCU President Michael Engh to change abortion insurance coverage without seeking their input.

Engh’s office has said the Jesuit priest contacted about 30 employees before Oct. 3, when he mailed letters to 1,600 university employees notifying them of his decision, which he stated is in line with “our core commitments as a Catholic university.”

Engh was attending a board of trustees meeting in Carmel on Friday, and his office declined to comment.

Diamond, who alerted Hanson in an email Thursday night that he was parting ways with the ethics center, also told Hanson that he believed the question of abortion should be resolved by a woman and her doctor. And he was opposed to important decisions that affect the university being made without engaging faculty and staff.

To read the entire Mercury News story, click here.