Wheaton College Is Cutting Insurance For All Students So That They Can’t Access Birth Control

Wheaton College, a Christian college in the southwest ‘burbs of my fair Chicago, has decided to stop providing health insurance to its students full-stop because the Affordable Care Act requires them to cover birth control.

Well, OK, that’s not exactly true. First, the college will help students who have particularly high financial need to cover the cost of their health insurance on the one hand, and on the other, the Affordable Care Act does actually have a compromise plan on which organizations with religious objections to birth control can have the organization’s insurance company provide plans to their students directly, instead of doing it through the organization. It’s just that Wheaton College refuses to do that, on “moral” grounds. Because apparently it’s more “moral” to make college students who are paying a whopping $31,900 a year in tuition pay for insurance on their own dime, which almost no other college students in America are actually forced by their school to do.

Student development vice president Paul Chelsen explained to students that Wheaton College is sacrificing their well-being because the school is trying to protect a lawsuit it has pending against the Department of Health and Human Services. Again, just incredibly moral, here. He said, “I acknowledge that students have been hurt by this decision and I regret that.” OK, Paul.

Marie Lodi pointed out at Jezebel that if Wheaton College students need birth control, Planned Parenthood is always there to help, but that sort of misses the larger point that some of those students are bound to have disabilities for which they need ongoing medical treatment, long-term diseases, psychiatric needs. Just catching the flu can be life-threatening without medical oversight. But hey: the important thing isn’t the overall health of the students that are paying gobs and gobs of money to keep the school running – including to pay for the salaries and insurance policies that faculty and staff get to keep. It’s that Wheaton College officials don’t like the idea that women could make their own choices about when to get pregnant.


[USA Today]


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