Three weeks ago, Planned Parenthood of Illinois released an advertisement offering Wheaton College students a 50 percent discount on preventative healthcare services.
In July, Wheaton announced that it would stop providing health insurance for students. In a statement, President Ryken asserted that the college was forced to end its health insurance coverage “due to the government’s continued insistence that Wheaton must provide insurance products and service that contradict our religious beliefs.”
Planned Parenthood responded to the end of the student health insurance plan with a tweet claiming “this is #WomenBetrayed: Wheaton College ends students’ health insurance altogether to avoid covering birth control.”
On Sept. 2, Planned Parenthood released an advertisement on Twitter offering 50 percent off preventative services to Wheaton College students at their Aurora Health Center. Preventative services include access to birth control, emergency contraceptives, STD evaluation and other women’s health treatments. Abortion is not included as a preventative service but is still available to all clients who are of age.
Planned Parenthood views Wheaton’s women students as in need of preventative health care.
They said in a press release that “preventative care, including birth control, cancer screening and sexually transmitted infection testing are basic healthcare that should be universally accessible.”
Wheaton College has made its stance on abortion and abortifacients clear, and Wheaton states that it approves nine of the ten preventative services required by the contraception mandate. However, the school says that continuing to provide student health insurance under the conditions of the Affordable Care Act would force the school to cover unapproved contraceptive drugs and would thus violate the standards of the Community Covenant.
Planned Parenthood’s continued push for funding has been a significant topic of recent presidential debates. As a Christian institution that opposes the abortion and abortifacients included in Planned Parenthood’s services, the Wheaton has received criticism on popular media until the implications of Obamacare for religious institutions are settled.