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Pointing at the bulletin letter's date (link) at left will display it's title.
January 18, 2009

What is the Issue with the Freedom of Choice Act?
                                    
    The Freedom of choice Act was first introduced in Congress in 1993.  It has been reintroduced three times since that time and has been defeated each time.  The last time it was introduced was in 2007.  The new Congress will re-introduce the bill in the coming months. 

    The title of the bill is deceiving because it leads us to believe that it is a positive in our lives.  As Americans, the issue of Freedom, whether it be related to speech or bearing arms or of religion, is always considered sacred.  It is for this reason that the FOCA Act has been introduced as a bill that would give Americans the “freedom” to choose life over death.  When we hear a title with the word Freedom we almost automatically think, “O, this sounds like a good thing, I wonder why anybody would be against it?”  Well, since it was defeated four times already, there surely must be a good reason.

    First of all, the Freedom that is being offered is one where women would have the freedom to elect for an abortion on demand, anytime, anywhere with any doctor.  What makes it attractive to many people is that the bill states that women should not be told what to do by any government entity.  In other words, government is electing to withdraw from the picture.  Although this may sound innocent enough, there are major ramifications involving our faith.

    What the bill intends to do is to eliminate all existing laws related to abortion.  Laws related to informed consent, parental consent and notification laws, as well as health and safety regulations for abortion clinics would automatically become null and void.  It would even nullify the law that only licensed physicians perform abortions.  The ban on partial-birth abortion that became law in 2003 would also be nullified.

    The fact that abortions would become eligible for public funding is also included in this picture.  At present there is a law that limits public funding for elective abortions.  Perhaps the most significant aspect of this bill would be the idea that all hospitals would have to perform abortions if the woman so desires.  This means that all Catholic hospitals would be placed in the position of performing an immoral act if they do not want to be sued for discrimination.  Many bishops have stated that they would elect to close their hospitals rather than allow abortions to be performed within their walls.  Statistics tell us that approximately 30% of American hospitals are Catholic.

    In short, the FOCA is very potent and has serious ramifications for all Christians, Catholic and non-catholic alike as well as all faiths who believe in the inalienable right to life.  We must take this act seriously.  This is an excellent opportunity for us to do the right thing.  Please pray over the matter and take the time to sign the post cards to be sent to your US senators and representatives.

                            Lorette P. Nault