As the president of the Newport Beach Women's Democratic Club, I have received much feedback from my members who are confused, upset and outraged by last week's decision by the Hoag Board to eliminate "direct abortions."
In the documents I have reviewed, Jon Dunn, president of Planned Parenthood, states, "I do not know what a "direct abortion" refers to since it is not a medical term in the field.
He indicates that "there is the potential for adverse effects on the population currently being served by Hoag Hospital, if there isn't further definition and clarification in the affiliation agreement."
He particularly refers to the dangers of a lack of clarity to a woman who suffers a miscarriage with complications. We further understand that the OB-GYN medical staff was not included in this decision.
As the mother of a pregnant daughter who has plans to visit Newport Beach this summer, I am alarmed at the danger this decision presents to her, should she require hospital care. She recently heard about a friend who almost lost her life while doctors in a Santa Monica hospital debated whether a dilation and curettage (D&C;) was within hospital guidelines after the diminishment of a fetal heartbeat.
And we are all familiar with the April tragedy the New York Times reported in Ireland, where a young dentist with an unviable fetus was allowed to die of blood poisoning because of a policy against abortions.
Hoag has, with this decision, potentially undermined the faith Newport Beach residents have in the women's medical treatment supplied by the hospital.
Our members encourage Hoag to rethink and rescind this decision consistent with federal law that makes it clear that reproductive medical decisions are protected by the right to privacy and should be made entirely by a woman and her doctor.
As the president of the NBWDC, I am requesting that Hoag hosts a community forum to allow its patients to hear details about the decision, how it will affect us, and give us with an opportunity to provide feedback. Our organization will gladly be a sponsor or co-sponsor of such an event which is consistent with our mission of providing "a civil forum for the discussion of local issues."
Dr. Suzanne Savary
Abortion is a medical procedure, the election of which is rarely made lightly. It deserves the same respectful attention by the medical community.
For Hoag Hospital to discontinue elective abortions is irresponsible. A travesty, really.
We as a community have celebrated and supported the efforts of Hoag, which takes pride in its excellent service to everyone. The Women's Health Institute has been a welcome addition.
With all due respect to its faith-based partners, I urge the Board of Directors to re-consider this action.
Linda P. Algazi
Corona del Mar