In light of the passage of a bill in New York that overrides a previous ban on abortions past the 24-week mark and several other states proposing similarly radical measures to expand abortion, many pro-choice advocates are celebrating. 

On college campuses especially, the abortion movement continues. Often using the sanitized phrase “termination of pregnancy,” abortion is frequently covered in student health plans at colleges across the country, including at top-tier universities.

According to the Guttmacher Institute, over 900,000 abortions are performed in the U.S. each year. 60 percent of these abortions are performed on women in their 20s and 12 percent are performed on women in their teens. 

U.S. News’ national ranking of best colleges lists the following as its ‘Top 10’: Princeton, Harvard, Columbia, MIT, University of Chicago, Yale, Stanford, Duke, University of Pennsylvania, and Johns Hopkins. The majority of schools cover abortions in their health plans for students, and all of them have recommendations in place for how their students can end a pregnancy. 

These schools are hailed as preparatory locations for the best and brightest the world has to offer. They sculpt future leaders, CEOs, and dignitaries, but they also help those leaders abort their pregnancies if they so choose. 

At Princeton, the number one school in the nation, the student health insurance plan covers 80 percent of the cost of an abortion. Harvard’s insurance plan provides coverage for outpatient abortions performed at an in-network provider. MIT’s student health care plan also covers surgical abortions when provided by an in-service provider.

Harvard refers its abortion-seeking students to local Planned Parenthood affiliates for the procedure, which is fully covered by their student health plan. Even students who have outside insurance but do not wish to use it will receive support from Harvard, $350 towards the cost of the procedure. 

At Columbia University in New York City, some health plans cover abortion procedures, though they are not performed on site and are referred to other providers. The University of Chicago covers “elective abortions” as part of their student health plan’s preferred allowance. Ending a pregnancy at Yale is covered without co-pay as part of the basic student health plan. 

Stanford’s OBGYN department performs abortions up to 24 weeks and covers the procedure in full under their tier one plan that requires students to go through the on-campus health center.  At Duke, there are insurance plans that cover abortion and ones that don’t. If you elect for a student health plan that does cover abortion, the procedure is covered up to 16 weeks. For the other plan, no reproductive technologies, such as surrogacy and IVF, are covered. 

University of Pennsylvania’s student health services does not perform abortion procedures but recommends students go to a nearby Planned Parenthood or a family planning center at the nearby hospital. If students have the procedure at the hospital, it is covered by their student insurance plan. Johns Hopkins, a leading research institution, does not cover elective abortions in their student health plan, though their employee health plans cover abortions when “medically necessary.” 

All of these colleges also provide birth control and contraceptives for free or little charge to their male and female students. Condoms are readily available in dorms and health centers, and other schools are looking at how to dispense Plan B in vending machines. Yale University planned to do just that before discovering a Connecticut law that banned the distribution of medicine in vending machines. Instead, they intend to stock the machines with things like condoms and dental dams.  

Despite the resurgence of pro-life groups on college campuses, the marches for life, and the protests, colleges continue to push a culture of death by covering abortion procedures in part or in full to their student health plan recipients. These universities did not respond to the New Guard’s request for comment on this story.


Aryssa is a graduate student at the University of Kentucky, an alumna of the National Journalism Center, and a contributor to the New Guard.

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