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UNC Allows Students to Exclude Abortion Coverage From Health Care Plan | The Nation

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Campus-oriented news, first-person reports from student activists and journalists about their campus.

UNC Allows Students to Exclude Abortion Coverage From Health Care Plan

A student pro-life group made progress last week in North Carolina last week -- but it was entirely symbolic. After a number of "e-mail pleas" were sent to the Board of Governors at UNC from Students for Life of America, students on the university's health insurance plan now have the choice to exclude abortions from their coverage, reports newsobserver.com.

The students who opt out of the abortion coverage on their plans, however, won't pay any less than the students who don't, because the coverage has never been a factor in the cost of university health care premiums, which are about $350 to $375 per semester, depending on the campus. UNC President Erskine Bowles explained that abortion coverage "has no effect on the cost whatsoever ... It didn't before; it won't now."

For the pro-life organization, which complained that it didn't want students forced to fund abortion coverage for anyone, the victory signifies no financial or political step toward the abolition of student abortions at UNC; it only offers pro-life students the choice, ironically enough, to say they won't be needing abortion coverage during their time in school. This is probably why Kristan Hawkins, the organization's executive director, says the opt-out option is "not a solution." She says she doesn't want anyone to have abortion coverage, which is, hopefully, a request that won't be granted in response to a few e-mailed complaints.

How does your school's student health care plan handle abortion coverage? Let us know in the comments field below. We'll post the responses in a forum after Labor Day.

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