Angry students at a prestigious Catholic university in Manhattan set up their own one-day birth control clinic to protest health service restrictions on contraception. Doctors at the make-shift clinic a block from Fordham University's Lincoln Center campus doled out free condoms and birth control prescriptions at the operation organized by the Law Students for Reproductive Justice. Fordham health services generally refuse to provide condoms or birth control prescriptions, and students paying for university health insurance are forced to pay a $100 "per condition" deductible to see an outside doctor for contraception. Students complain that it's a bait and switch tactic—they pay for health insurance that doesn't cover their health needs.
"The university's position seems to be, 'What do you expect, this is a Catholic school?'" notes the law student organization. But the "religiously diverse student population" is often stunned to find just how extreme the "Catholic aversion to birth control" is, or "don't expect it to affect health care," notes the group. The university is unapologetic. "Fordham is a Catholic university and follows church teachings on reproductive issues,” spokesman Bob Howe said in a statement to the New York Daily News. (Read more Vatican stories.)