November 14, 1983 · Cavalier Daily

Elimination of Abortion Coverage Discriminatory, Impractical

This letter to the editor asserts that eliminating abortion coverage from the UVa Student Health insurance plan would be sexist. Moreover, it objects to an insurance system that provides students an option of several plans (some with abortion and some without), on the grounds that students cannot necessarily predict the health issues for which they will need coverage in the future.


1983-11-14 Cavalier Daily Elimination of Abortion Coverage Discriminatory, Impractical.pdf
Cathy L. Lucrezi
Celeste Redmond
Cavalier Daily
Cavalier Daily
Elimination of Abortion Coverage Discriminatory, Impractical
There has been a lot of talk lately about the current student health policy burdening all with the abortions of a few. In the many views expressed, the underlying theme is that certain people are morally opposed to abortions and thus should not be required to pay for someone else's sin. These people are hiding behind their moralistic attitudes. While supporting a plan that is prima facie chauvinistic, sexist and ignores the basic and principles of an insurance system.
Eliminating abortion coverage from the Student Health insurance plan would be a slap in the face to the women of this academic community. If the Supreme Court of the United States feels a women [sic] has the right to control what happens to her body. what right does Student Council have to effectively deny female students this of choice?
Critics of the coverage argue that students who want this of coverage are free to purchase insurance from outside agencies. However. this denies female students the benefits of a health plan approved by the University: complete health coverage at a low price and security in knowing the academic institution supports the agency. Students are financially limited in the of health coverage they can consider.
The elimination of abortion coverage will thus require students to seek possibly inferior coverage and to pay higher premiums because of the mere fortuity that they were born female.
Insurance is a bet by a group of people they become afflicted under the terms of the policy. As such, coverage has always been broad enough to respond to the needs of this group. Those people advocating the elimination of abortion coverage are essentially asking for a system where you could pick and choose your afflictions.
Those with objections to tobacco and alcohol would opt out of coverage for respiratory ailments and alcohol dependency treatment. Women could opt out of coverage for prostrate cancer. If each person were allowed to make a laundry list of the ailments in which they were willing to share risks. costs would soar for everyone.
Allowing students to choose between different insurance plans is not a practical nor equitable alternative. The arguments supporting the "dual plans" are flawed.
Choosing between the plans would require a person to predict what medical emergencies and diseases he or she will encounter throughout the year. It is unrealistic to expect people to accurately anticipate their medical needs. If we were able to do so, there would be no for insurance at all. We would each figure out our medical costs for the year, divide by 12, and budget accordingly. Needless to say, none of us are capable of foreseeing the future so clearly.
The University, knowing people don't accurately predict their needs, requires each student to purchase health insurance. Without this requirement, many students would not purchase insurance. They would take a winner's attitude that no misfortune would befall them that year. It would be unwise to rely on people's predictive abilities to be the basis of adequate insurance coverage.
In addition, the two plans will increase the costs to all insurance subscribers, not just those opting for the abortion coverage. Insurance plans work because they rely on a large group of people sharing common risks: the larger the group, the lower the rates. By removing a large number of people from the subscriber pool (as will happen when people opt out for the abortion coverage), costs will increase for those remaining merely because they are fewer in number. Furthermore, the belief is unrealistic that the increase in cost for abortion coverage will be only $1. Since the risk is shared by a fewer number of people, the cost will rise significantly. This increase will not be borne across the board since only females will be affected by the change in coverage. Women will thus pay higher insurance premiums merely because of their gender.
Lest anyone argue that the group should not bear the cost of the individual. it should be noted that as University students, we share each other's costs through student activity and tuition fees.
The dual plan is also offensive because, in many cases, it will foreclose an individual's choice in what should be a private matter. Any student whose parents pay or manage her education will not be able to make a free choice. The health insurance form and extra cost will be subject to parental approval or disapproval. Therefore, what should be an individual, private choice will become a two- or three-way debate. This is not to say that parents should not know how their money is spent. Rather, it affirms a financially dependent woman’s right to privacy.
We urge council to consider the burdens that will fall upon women if the current health insurance plan is changed to eliminate abortion coverage. We encourage council to begin a new tradition in which the University can take pride — one of sensitivity to the needs of women. Until then, we will remain vigilant of any action that burdens women because they were not born male
Cathy L. Lucrezi
Celeste Redmond
Members, Virginia Law Women
Date Added July 19, 2016
Date Modifed December 12, 2017
Collection Cavalier Daily: articles about gender discrimination

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