Students at Saint Louis University are calling on the Catholic institution to become more secular and provide additional contraception, even though Catholic teaching denounces premarital sex.
SLU’s student government and campus newspaper have both taken action this month, calling for more contraception at the Jesuit school.
The student government passed a resolution on April 5 suggesting the university’s student health center bump up the amount of birth control it gives out. Last week, The University News editorial board backed that recommendation.
The editorial argues society is becoming more secular, so the university should too. It claims providing contraception would align with the university’s “social justice” mission.
From the editorial:
In addition, it is unfair for [SLU] to enforce some Catholic doctrines but not others. There are many other rules that the Catholic Church has for the followers of the Catholic faith, but SLU students do not have to follow these rules during their time at the institution. For example, SLU still serves meat on Fridays during Lent despite rules against consumption of meat on these days.
The U. News writes that students can receive “hormonal contraception” from the school, and argues that students can still access contraception for premarital sex by lying to the health center. It argues this allows for unethical behavior to take place at the university:
If students want birth control badly enough, then they may lie in order to achieve that end. The result of SLU’s policy — if students indeed lie to receive contraception — is immoral behavior among students despite the University’s intention to encourage what it believes to be moral Catholic doctrine. For the Catholic Church, premarital sex may be immoral, but so is lying about why one needs a prescription.
For its part, the university appears not to be caving to the calls for increased contraception. As SLU’s student government considered its recent resolution, The U. News reported chaplain Don Highberger and Vice President for Student Development Kent Porterfield told members “that SLU’s Catholic status is decisive in matters of church doctrine.”