Columbia University No Longer Guarantees Abortion Coverage to All Students

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Until this year, Columbia University covered abortions through the Columbia Health Program fee, which all students are required to pay. But now, abortion is covered under the Columbia Student Medical Insurance Plan, meaning that a student in need of an abortion who is covered by her parents' or her own insurance policy can no longer rely on the university for financial help.

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The administration apparently didn't think the change was worthy of an announcement, which is why Zoe Ridolfi-Starr (CC '15) was shocked when she came across the policy on the 17th page of the 101-page brochure. They apparently didn't really think it was worth commenting on, either. From the Columbia Spectator:

Administrators from Health Services initially deferred comment to Senior Executive Vice President Robert Kasdin, who in turn deferred comment back to Health Services. Health Services did not respond to further repeated requests for comment.

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Eventually, members of CU Dems got a hold of an administrator who was less than helpful:

"They knew that it was going to have a huge financial impact on students for whom this did become an issue," Ridolfi-Starr said. "And their plan was to Google a list of people in New York who would give abortions and tell students to go out into the city and fend for themselves."

Now, Ridolfi-Starr is trying to come up with alternate ways to help students pay for abortions — one solution would be to create an "access" fund for medically necessary procedures.

CU Dems look for alternate abortion funding [Columbia Spectator]

(Image via Columbia.edu)

DISCUSSION

By
Violet Baudelaire

While I don't really like anything that takes away options potentially from women, this doesn't really seem like it was terribly motivated - I'd bet with the extended age limit for children to stay covered other their parents plan, many colleges and universities are adding in clauses to their medical coverage saying a lot of care won't be covered by their insurance IF it can be covered some place else.

This is pretty standard asshole insurance nonsense, and while it sucks, I can't feel all that personally or offended just because the topic happens to be abortion. This doesn't seem morally motivated or anything other than insurance trying to not pay for anything, ever.