Against Abortion Coverage


SINCE THE SUPREME Court decision on abortion, no one can deny a woman's legal right to terminate the life of an unborn fetus. But abortion remains an extremely sensitive moral issue, and the University should not offer a mandatory health insurance plan that covers non-therapeutic abortions.

Under this plan, undergraduates who are either morally opposed or uncertain in their attitudes towards abortion would nevertheless be contributing to that act by virtue of their UHS health fee. The will of a tenuous majority should not be imposed on those with grave reservations about abortion.

And it is ironic that the very people who have long argued against the interference of the state in the individual right of a woman to abortion would now be insensitive to the deeply hold beliefs of others.

The principle of an insurance pool is, indeed, that people pay for services they might never utilize. But abortion stands in a class by itself: it is not to be equated with a broken arm or a sprained ankle. And thus, no undergraduate should have to feel that he or she is paying for an abortion, because for many that operation is a denial of life.

Similarly, it is incumbent on the Radcliffe Union of Students (RUS) to accommodate those women who morally oppose the Union's recent decision to create an "abortion fund" from the general dues monies.

Although proponents of the insurance package may point to the maternity benefits as an alternative available to a pregnant woman--thus providing coverage for all women regardless of their decision on abortion--the fact of the matter is, that in this community, the vast majority of the funds would go to abortions.

Clearly, this is not an issue of reluctance to pay the higher insurance premiums, which would amount to a projected two dollars per student, but an issue of principle. And since it is an issue of principle, citing the policies of other schools begs the question. We should not base our decisions on the actions of other universities--be they Ivy League Yale or Catholic Georgetown.

In short, such a University-sponsored health insurance plan would be an injustice and would place many undergraduates in the position of supporting financially an action they find morally or religiously reprehensible.