Notre Dame will drop birth control coverage for students, faculty, and staff

The university is taking advantage of new Trump administration rules allowing exemptions to the Obamacare contraceptive mandate.

The University of Notre Dame just became one of the first employers to take advantage of new Trump administration rules allowing exemptions to the Obamacare contraceptive mandate. Last week, the university announced that it would drop birth control coverage for its students, faculty, and staff.

The private Catholic university notified students and employees of the change on Friday, according to Indiana Public Media. Birth control coverage for the university’s more than 12,000 undergraduate and graduate students will end August 14, 2018. Faculty and staff, however, will lose their coverage in two months, on December 31. The school will still cover birth control if it’s used as treatment for a medical condition and not as pregnancy prevention.

Previously, Notre Dame offered contraceptive coverage through a third-party system devised by the Obama administration for religious employers. But the university had long been fighting to drop coverage entirely. New rules issued by the Trump administration in early October — allowing any employer to request an exemption from the birth control coverage requirement for moral or religious reasons — gave Notre Dame the opening it needed. Employers who are exempt do not have to offer coverage through a third party.

The American Civil Liberties Union has sued the Trump administration over the new birth control rules, and a Notre Dame law student is one of the plaintiffs in the suit.

“No matter where a woman works or goes to school she should have coverage for basic health care services like contraceptives,” Brigitte Amiri, a senior staff attorney at the ACLU, told Indiana Public Media.