Contraceptives and St. Vincent | Arkansas Blog

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Contraceptives and St. Vincent

Posted By on Wed, Mar 7, 2012 at 9:41 AM

St. Vincent Health System does not include birth control options for women employees in its insurance plans because Catholic doctrine stands opposed to contraception, its CEO Peter Banko told the Times recently. Nevertheless, doctors at the St. Vincent Family Clinic at 4202 University Ave., which offers pap smears and "women's health" care, do prescribe contraceptives to their female patients, a call to the clinic confirmed Tuesday. The associated Family Health Pharmacy also stocks contraceptives. The clinic and pharmacies are a business; they could hardly do otherwise.

Spokesman Margaret Preston Dedman, asked about the inconsistency, said today that St. Vincent "will no longer comment on this issue."

Dedman was responding to the Times' question about whether clinics operated by St. Vincent prescribe contraceptives and also whether the hospital's insurance policies had ever covered erectile dysfunction medication for employees. She previously told the Times that policies do not now cover ED meds.

We asked because a caller tells us that the hospital did at one time cover drugs like Viagra and Cialis.

It was coverage of ED that prompted women lawmakers, Republican and Democratic alike, in 2005 to successfully introduce state legislation that became the Equity in Prescription Insurance and Contraceptive Coverage Act. State Sen. Joyce Elliott said it was a matter of "parity."

The act exempts religious institutions whose primary purposes is "the inculcation of religious values," and "employs primarily persons who share its religious beliefs." Banko said employees at St. Vincent "regularly have to attest that they are in compliance" with the ethical standard for Catholic institutions. Our caller, however, claimed not to have been asked by the hospital to pledge compliance on a regular basis.

State Insurance Commissioner Jay Bradford told the Times it's clear to him the hospital meets the first test.

Tags: , , ,

Sign up for the Daily Update email

Comments (12)

Showing 1-12 of 12

Add a comment

Subscribe to this thread:
Showing 1-12 of 12

Add a comment

More by Leslie Newell Peacock

  • Gallery guide: New shows, Argenta Art Walk

    Tonight's the third Friday of the month, which means that you can see lots of art on and off Main Street in Argenta, which is holding its after-hours Art Walk from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. 
    • Apr 20, 2018
  • Fayetteville and University of Arkansas advocate for Oklahoma wind energy project

    The University of Arkansas and the city of Fayetteville announced today their support for the Wind Catcher Energy Connection Project, an Oklahoma panhandle wind farm that will deliver power to Northwest Arkansas.
    • Apr 19, 2018
  • New development at old Sears site firms up

    In the next year and a half to two years, the 16 acres at the northwest corner of University Avenue and Interstate 630, the old Sears site, will transform into a development featuring retail, restaurants and a hotel — or two — called The District at Midtown.
    • Apr 19, 2018
  • More »

Readers also liked…

  • A response to police arrests becomes a tutorial on race, class and policing in Little Rock

    John Walker, the 79-year-old civil rights lawyer, and his associate, Omavi Shukur, 29, a young lawyer devoted to criminal justice reform, talked to press this afternoon about their arrests Monday by Little Rock police for supposedly obstructing governmental operations in observing and attempting to film a routine police traffic stop. It was a tutorial on sharp views of race, class and governance in Little Rock.
    • Sep 29, 2016
  • Arkansas legislature rejects bipartisan effort to study race relations

    On Friday, the Arkansas Legislative Council soundly rejected a bipartisan effort by two senators to to create a temporary legislative subcommittee to study race relations in the state.
    • Sep 15, 2017
  • Donald Trump declares war on Hillary Clinton's marriage

    Donald Trump gave a remarkable interview to the New York Times yesterday in which he declared open season on the marriage of Bill and Hillary Clinton and Bill Clinton's past infidelity. Seems like a loser, but I've been wrong before.
    • Oct 1, 2016

Most Recent Comments


© 2018 Arkansas Times | 201 East Markham, Suite 200, Little Rock, AR 72201
Powered by Foundation