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Friday, August 20, 2010

UNC Board of Governors Creates 2 Tier System

The UNC Board of Governors is now offering students two Health Plans from which to choose, rather than providing a single Student Health Plan that does not include elective abortion coverage.  One plan allows students to "opt out" of the elective abortion coverage in the Student Health Plan; and, one plan is the original plan which includes abortion coverage.  Regardless of the plan, the fees remain the same. If the UNC System through its insurance provider Pearce and Pearce can provide students with an "opt out" for the elective abortion coverage, they can provide a single plan that does not cover abortion. Those students who "opt" to have abortions can pay for their own abortions out of their own funds. 

The fact that the UNC System continues to keep the elective abortion coverage suggests that they want to make abortion more accessible to the students within the UNC System. As a state supported school system, the UNC University System should not be offering a Student Health Plan that provides elective abortion coverage.

According to a statement by the Board of Governors, "the University previously had hard-waiver student health insurance plans on 11 campuses and offered voluntary plans on another 5 campuses. All of these previous university plans except the one at NC Central University included elective abortion coverage." The current Student Health Plan used as its basis the previous 15 plans that had abortion coverage rather than the NC Central University plan which did not have abortion coverage. 

Their statement also mentioned that the State Employees' Health Plan provides elective abortion coverage.  While it is true that there is coverage for abortion in the State Employees' Health Plan, we maintain that the state should not be in the business of providing elective abortion coverage using our tax dollars. North Carolina Right to Life has been working with pro-life members in the NC House and Senate to get abortion coverage removed from the State Employee's Health Plan. Our efforts are similar to those in 1995 when we worked successfully to get the line item for abortion in the budget reduced to $50,000 and only for abortions to save the life of the mother and in cases of rape and incest.  The life, rape and incest language is consistent with language in the federal Hyde Amendment.

No tax funded government institutions, agencies, etc. should be providing Health Plans which contain  elective abortion coverage.  Statistics compiled by the State of North Carolina show that 32.2% of all abortions performed in NC are performed on young women between the ages of 20-24 and 15.2% between the ages of 15-19.  Additonally, the vast majority of abortions are performed in the counties that contain or are close to the universities that make up the UNC System. 

North Carolina Right to Life urges pro-life citizens to demand that the UNC System not offer any Student Health Plan that provides elective abortion coverage.  While they have shown by their actions that they have the ability to have a plan that excludes abortion coverage, it seems that they currently just lack the will to it.  That is where pressure from the people of this state can make the difference.  You can help them find the will to eliminate the elective abortion coverage from the UNC system wide Student Health Plan. Contact the Board of Governors to make your voice heard on this matter.

For more information about this issue, please visit the web site

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