Commentary: Let's look at the definition of 'freedom'

In response to Vicki Bowers' July 19 letter to the Pilot, "Hoag has freedom too," it seems that she favors Hoag's position which is, "I will use my freedom to choose to take away a woman's freedom and right to choose."

In so many words, Hoag is saying, "Ladies, contrary to our past policies, you no longer have the right to control your own body and reproductive life at our hospital. Please go elsewhere if you would like to preserve your rights."

But let's be clear, not everyone at Hoag was in favor of this choice, as many of the doctors have indicated, so their freedom of choice was taken away also.

In addition, this was not Hoag's freewill choice; it was foisted on them by the Catholic Church and its doctrine as Tom Egan indicated in his July 12, 2013 Pilot commentary, "Hoag has agreed to far-reaching dogma." Keep in mind we never heard any other logical, consistent or believable explanation for the decision from Hoag executives.

I can only assume that Ms. Bowers approves of this decision as long as it is the Catholic Church that is taking away the rights of women to choose what reproductive health care services they can have at Hoag.

I say this because in her Feb. 6, 2012, letter to the Pilot, "Column on Islam misrepresents Koran, she states, "….women in Islam do not enjoy the same rights as men – not on earth and not in the afterlife…" Her criticism is that in her understanding of the Koran, Islam does not give women equal rights.

Ms. Bowers, the Catholic Church, via the decision it essentially forced upon Hoag, is taking away women's rights, just like your complaint about the Koran.

In this same letter, Ms. Bowers goes on to warn us that "Muslims are charged in the Koran with either converting the infidel, subjugating/enslaving the infidel or killing him."

In other words, she is warning others that if they associate with Muslims, they run the risk of being forced to convert to the doctrines of Islam or face dire consequences.

Ms. Bowers, when a woman now goes to Hoag she will be forced to convert to the reproductive doctrines of the Catholic Church. Again, this is similar to your understanding and warning about the Koran's instructions on conversion.

I don't really understand Ms. Bowers' position because of her apparent contradictions. However, it is clear that Hoag, a Presbyterian hospital, has become subservient to the Catholic Church and has chosen to take away a women's right to choose their reproductive care and, in a way, their freedom of religious choice also.

Finally, to answer Ms. Bowers' question: "Would you deny Hoag Hospital the freedom to chose [sic] what services it wants to provide?"

Yes, I would deny Hoag's decision on this issue because of the fact that its choice impinged on the rights of others. I am concerned that moral considerations were compromised for the sake of avoiding lengthy and difficult negotiations.

But isn't negotiating difficult deals what hospital executives are supposed to do? I do not think they did their best and, as a result, I think they should reverse their decision and renegotiate the deal.

MARGARET MOONEY lives in Costa Mesa.

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