The Freedom of Choice Act (FOCA) is a radical bill. It creates a “fundamental right” to abortion throughout the nine months of pregnancy. No governmental body at any level would be able to “deny or interfere with” this right, or to “discriminate” against the exercise of this right “in the regulation or provision of benefits, facilities, services, or information.” For the first time, abortion would become an entitlement the government must condone and promote.
FOCA would go well beyond the Supreme Court’s Roe v. Wade decision in imposing an extreme abortion regimen on our country. No other piece of legislation would have such a destructive impact on society’s ability to limit or regulate abortion. It would eliminate a broad range of laws—informed consent laws; parental involvement laws; laws promoting maternal health; abortion clinic regulations; government programs and facilities that pay for or promote childbirth and other health care without subsidizing abortion; conscience protection laws; laws prohibiting a particular abortion procedure (e.g., partial birth abortion); laws requiring that abortions only be performed by a licensed physician; and so on. For a careful legal analysis of FOCA by the USCCB’s Office of General Counsel, see: www.nchla.org/docdisplay.asp?
In a September 19 letter to Members of Congress, Cardinal Justin Rigali, Chairman of the USCCB Committee on Pro-Life Activities, raised grave concerns about any possible consideration of FOCA. “Despite its deceptive title, FOCA would deprive the American people in all 50 states of the freedom they now have to enact modest restraints and regulations on the abortion industry,” and would “counteract any and all sincere efforts by government to reduce abortions in our country.” The Cardinal declared: “We can’t reduce abortions by promoting abortion.” He urged all Senators and Representatives “to pledge their opposition to FOCA.” For full text of the letter, see: www.usccb.org/prolife/
Recommended Actions: Participate in the Fight FOCA National Pro-Life Postcard and E-Mail Campaign. Contact your U.S. Representative and two U.S. Senators. To order postcards, see: nchla.org/docdisplay.asp?ID=
You can also contact your federal elected officials by FAX letter or phone. Call the U.S. Capitol switchboard at: 202.224.3121; or call Members’ local offices. Full contact info can be found on Members of Congress’s web sites, at: www.senate.gov and www.house.gov.
Message to all Members: “Please oppose FOCA and retain laws against the funding and promotion of abortion.” Those Members of Congress who cosponsored FOCA in the last Congress should be asked to not to cosponsor the bill in the current Congress. To check this list of cosponsors, see: nchla.org/docdisplay.asp?ID=
Other Actions: Place an ad opposing FOCA in your local Catholic paper or other publication. Sample ads in English and Spanish can be found at: nchla.org/docdisplay.asp?ID=50
Click the link below to take action on this issue.: