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Pennsylvania University Faces Backlash After Abortion Coverage Ban

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Protesters appeared outside of the University of Scranton campus recently in order to protest the university's most recent changes to their health care plan.

The problem: the university has planned to stop covering any and all abortions for their employees.

Being a Catholic university, they have cited their faith as the primary reason for deciding to do away with providing for abortions. The President of the university mentioned this in an email sent out to the University's more than 100 employees informing them of the decision.

“Considerable deliberation and research has made clear to me that because the university is self-insured we can, and therefore must, offer insurance plans that are free of all abortion coverage,” the email read.

The university's previous insurance plan covered abortions in cases of rape or incest for several decades, as it was made law in the 1990's.

Protesters from Planned Parenthood as well as a group called Concerned Clergy for Choice arrived at the Courthouse Square in order to voice their opposition to the changes to the health care plan. 

"It lacks compassion for women who need access to healthcare. That's what it is," Planned Parenthood Keystone Leslie Brown told reporters. “There will be people that will disagree on abortion rights and then people have their ideology, but when it comes down to a woman being able to have coverage so she can have the best possible healthcare, that to me is what the issue is."

“In this situation we are talking about the rights of the worker, and my faith has long stood up on behalf of workers and what they earn," added Rabbi Dennis Ross with Concerned Clergy for Choice. "And the Bible teaches that a worker should be paid when wages are due. This is really a question of insurance belonging to the worker and not the boss.” 

For now the University provides limited coverage for cases of rape, incest, and when the "life of a woman is at risk," according to local station WNEP16.

Source: WNEP16 Photo Credit:


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