The University of Notre Dame has flip-flopped again: The Rev. John Jenkins, Notre Dame's president, announced on Feb. 7 that university-sponsored health insurance plans for students and staff will stop covering some forms of birth control. The decision will affect more than 17,000 people who rely on the school for health insurance.
That's yet another reversal in course from the university in less than six months. In November, Notre Dame promised that its plans would continue to provide students and employees with a method for accessing birth control.
A few weeks before that, Notre Dame was one of the first and most prominent organizations to announce it would take advantage of new rules proposed on Oct. 6 by the Trump administration that would allow employers and universities to cite religious beliefs as justification for denying women access to birth control.
In October, AU, joined by the National Women's Law Center and the law firm Dentons, filed a federal lawsuit, Shiraefv. Hargan, challenging the Trump rules because they discriminate against women and violate religious freedom. The lawsuit's plaintiffs included several Notre Dame students whose access to contraception was in jeopardy.
After the lawsuit was filed, Notre Dame reversed course and promised its insurance plans would include birth control. Since that meant AU's plaintiffs had access to birth control, AU and the NWLC on Feb. 2 withdrew the case.
"We're pleased that students at the University of Notre Dame will have access to affordable birth control," said Richard B...