As part of the universal health insurance reform passed in 2010, all group health plans must provide - at no cost to the recipient - certain “preventive services.” The Health and Human Services mandate requires group health plans to pay for several preventive services for women.
Nine of the services are not morally troublesome, but one of the government-mandated services requires: “[a]ll Food and Drug Administration approved contraceptive methods, sterilization procedures, and patient education and counseling for all women with reproductive capacity” be provided. The serious issue here is the fact that at least one of the approved contraceptives can cause an abortion.The government has publically stated the HHS mandate does “not include abortifacient drugs,” but the text of the regulation itself contains no such guarantee. The “FDA-approved contraceptives” covered by the mandate include “emergency contraception” drugs. One of them is “ella” (ulipristal) - which is a close analogue to the abortion drug RU-486 (mifepristone) - and can cause an abortion to avoid pregnancy. ETBU believes that providing coverage for abortifacient drugs would be a serious violation of our faith.