Letters to the Editor: Can Catholic doctrine and women’s healthcare mix?

An abortion rights advocate demonstrates outside Hoag Memorial Hospital in 2013.
An abortion rights advocate demonstrates outside Hoag Memorial Hospital in 2013.
(Allen J. Schaben / Los Angeles Times)

To the editor: Kudos to Hoag Memorial Hospital in Orange County for ending its decade-long affiliation with a mammoth Catholic hospital system. Michael Hiltzik’s insightful column makes clear how Providence St. Joseph Health dealt in bad faith (pun intended) with its suppression of Hoag’s healthcare services for women.

Providence’s insistence that Hoag not perform abortions was understandable; Catholic doctrine adamantly opposes that procedure. But Providence soon discontinued its healthcare provider network’s coverage of costs for contraceptives prescribed by Hoag’s OB-GYNs.

This noxious turn exposed the misogynistic illogic of the religious doctrine: If they deem abortion a mortal sin, why don’t they abide access to contraceptives, the prudent use of which prevents pregnancies that lead women to contemplate abortion?


Hoag has set a good example for other Catholic-affiliated hospitals that suffer misogynistic, faith-based healthcare constraints.

Edgar M. Martinez, Orcutt, Calif.


To the editor: How many people understand that the Catholic Church is patriarchal to its core? Do people accept truly that women are defying the laws of God by trying to control their fertility, let alone pregnancy? From God’s lips to the ears of the bishops, apparently they are indeed.

Catholic doctrine allows women three choices: virginity, abstinence or bondage to their wombs. It’s not surprising that these choices seem reasonable to many men, but how astonishing for so many women to cling to the freedom of their chains.

Women have a right to a life of their own choosing, but how feeble an individual woman is against the might of the Catholic Church. As the song says, “You never ask questions when God’s on your side.”

Karen Robinson-Stark, Pasadena