Wednesday, March 25, 2009

USF changes policy on abortion referrals through student health service

University of San Francisco

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"Referrals for abortion will not be given"

By Kathleen Gilbert

SAN FRANCISCO, March 23, 2009 ( -- The Jesuit-run University of San Francisco (USF) has ceased referring abortion-seeking students to the local Planned Parenthood, and instead will send them to life-supporting pregnancy centers, reports Our Sunday Visitor (OSV).

A University spokesman told OSV that the school has adapted its protocol to comply with the Catholic Church's teaching on life. The school will now send students to First Resort, a crisis pregnancy center; the Gabriel Project, a pregnancy support organization run by the USF's St. Ignatius Parish; and Catholic Charities counseling services.

The new directive for the student clinic at USF's St. Mary's Medical Center states: "In keeping with Catholic tradition and teachings, voluntary termination of pregnancy will not be performed at St. Mary's Hospital and referrals for abortion will not be given to a student by USF Student Health Clinic staff. In addition, contraceptives services, in all forms, will not be provided by the USF Student Health Clinic."

In December, an OSV contributing editor revealed that the University clinic sent students seeking abortion or contraception either to Planned Parenthood or to Aetna providers.

"We just provide them with resources of where they want to go," St. Mary's senior director Les McGee told OSV.

The same month, the University apologized and rectified its default student health insurance package after it was reported that the Aetna plan, touted as tailored to the school's needs, covered abortions.


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