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HAWAII, April 30, 2012 – Former Republican governor and U.S. Senate candidate Linda Lingle wrote in an article earlier this month, “It pains me deeply to see members of my own party attempting to legislate women’s health and contraception choices. Throughout my years of public service, I have listened with great interest to both sides of these often controversial issues. The positions taken were argued with equivalent passion and effectiveness. But I have always been an ardent support of women’s rights, including a woman’s right to choose.”
Lingle went on to say, “When election year rhetoric subsides and we take the time to thoughtfully and respectfully debate all of these issues, it is critically important that we have articulate, thoughtful, effective women leaders of both parties elected to the U.S. Senate. Electing pro-choice Republican women can help foster a discussion that reflects the full spectrum of views and can lead to a more balanced and responsible public dialogue.”
Lingle’s assessment of the contraceptive debate being about legislating a woman’s choice is inaccurate. The real question at stake that policymakers must wrestle with is not whether a woman has a right to choose contraception or abortion but rather whether the government has the proper authority to compel private citizens and organizations to provide services and goods against their will.
Women certainly have freedom of choice. But if a private hospital only wants to offer a certain range of health services that exclude prenatal testing, emergency contraception and abortion, that is a private business decision that should be respected by the government. If a private provider wants to opt-out of performing an abortion because his conscience objects, his decision should be respected by the government.
To use government force of law to mandate that a private hospital must provide goods and services against their choice simply because one believes that a woman has a “right to choose” would in effect be saying that a woman’s right trumps the rights of the owners of that private hospital and the rights of all the providers who
You can read the rest of this article at: http://communities.washingtontimes.com/neighborhood/making-waves-hawaii-perspective-washington-politic/2012/apr/29/hawaiis-former-governor-linda-lingle-elect-pro-cho/