Wednesday, August 27, 2014

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Alumni Want Notre Dame to ‘Disavow’ Cooperation with HHS Mandate

The Sycamore Trust, an organization committed to promoting the Catholic identity of the University of Notre Dame, is calling on the University to explain or disavow the actions of its Human Resources Department which voluntarily participated in providing contraceptives and abortifacient benefits to employees, according to the organization’s website .

As previously reported by The Cardinal Newman Society, after failing to receive injunctive relief by January 1, Notre Dame announced that it would comply with the HHS mandate by authorizing a third party administrator of its health plan to provide the problematic benefits mandated by the Obama administration. In its lawsuit, according to the Trust, Notre Dame had stressed that it could not be associated with “targeted communications” to employees “that seek to normalize practices contrary to Notre Dame’s mission.”

But,  according to the Trust, on January 30, the University’s Office of Human Resources  did exactly that by sending out a message directly to University employees providing instructions about the use of the “Women’s Preventive Services ID Cards.” The bulletin even invited employees to directly call “HR customer service” with questions.

The Trust pointed out:

•    “The TPA could easily have provided the same information.

•    “There is not a word suggesting Notre Dame sees anything wrong with any of this.

•    “On the contrary, in referring to the supplying of abortifacients and contraceptives as ‘Women’s Preventive Services,’ HR adopts the contorted terminology the Obama administration uses to characterize birth control as health care within the meaning of the health care legislation.”

Notre Dame’s message to University employees sadly went out on the same day that Pope Francis exhorted Notre Dame to faithfulness.

The Trust is calling on the University to explain its actions. “If an arguable justification can be imagined for Notre Dame’s decision to comply, we can think of none for any of this,” they stated. “It is now up to Notre Dame both to explain why, contrary to what it had told the court, its compliance is not scandalous and also to disavow the actions of its Office of Human Resources.”

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