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Catholic News Service: FOCA Dead

Readers may have noticed that while I am not a fan of the Freedom of Choice Act (FOCA), I have been upset about the HUGE amount of effort still aimed at fighting it since it died at the end of the last Congress. I see the hysteria aimed at blocking this non-existant legislation as a major distraction from other pro-life priorities including support for all mothers and easing the adoption process. Every time I get a note or comment about FOCA, I do a search in the THOMAS legislative database and see once again that FOCA has not been introduced.

So I was very happy to see this headline on the Inside Passage, the Diocesan newspaper of Juneau:

Rumors aside, FOCA legislation no threat to Catholic health care

The article, from the Catholic News Service, not only mentions the fact that FOCA died at the end of the last Congress, but goes on to talk about misleading e-mails:

But that hasn’t kept misleading e-mails from flying around the Internet, warning of the dire consequences if Obama signs FOCA into law and promoting a “FOCA novena” in the days leading up to Inauguration Day. The Catholic Health Association “is strongly committed to opposing FOCA and (the board) is unanimous that we would do all we could to oppose it,” said Bishop Robert N. Lynch of St. Petersburg, Fla., an elected member of the CHA board of trustees since June 2006.

“But there is no plan to shut down any hospital if it passes,” he added in a Jan. 26 telephone interview. “There’s no sense of ominous danger threatening health care institutions.”

Now that the news source of Catholic Newspapers around the country have brought out these important points, this is the last I’ll be writing about FOCA unless it does get introduced and appears to have some fate besides moving out of committee.  If you find that FOCA does in fact get introduced in Congress, give me a bill number and I’ll post regular updates.


4 Responses

  1. FOCA is still death to the unborn, whether or not it affects Catholic hospitals. This is the most anti-life leader we’ve ever had, and abortion is one of the planks that lifted him into the White House.

  2. Hi Norma,

    The main thrust of my blog post is that FOCA HAS NOT BEEN REINTRODUCED in Congress. There is NO FOCA bill to fight at the present time. Fighting non-existent legislation is non-productive and makes members of Congress less likely to listen to pro-lifers in the future. The wasted, premature efforts against FOCA could have been put into support for pregnancy support bills like Senator Casey’s S. 270 “A bill to provide for programs that reduce the need for abortion, help women bear healthy children, and support new parents.” But instead of showing that pro-lifers can be FOR something, we as a group once again showed we only know the language of anti.

    I concede that President Obama tolerates abortion. I have seen no convincing proof he is actively seeking to raise the number of abortion. Tolerance is not promotion. I have no wish to ban alcohol, but I’m not trying to push it on people.

    And because being pro-life covers a range of issues from conception to natural death, I don’t see President Obama as being the most anti-life leader we’ve had. In my view, most of the Presidents and our whole society has been pretty “pro-death” for since the 20th Century. Any time you see an act of killing or degradation of a human being as the way to solve your problems, then you’re not fully pro-life.

    And I would be very careful in equating anti-abortion with pro-life. Otherwise you’ll be forced to conclude that Hamas is a pro-life movement because they forbid abortion in the areas they control. Once you conclude that Hamas is a pro-life movement, doesn’t it put a different light on their struggle with abortion-on-demand Israel?

  3. It’s still alive and well. This comment I noticed at CNSNews:

    “The best way to have stopped FOCA was to stop Obama’s election. Catholic prelates, most notably Cardinal [Francis] George, had an opportunity to do that, but the silence was deafening. Most said not one word and those who spoke up about the dangers of electing Obama were held up to scorn. They now have zero credibility to publicly fret about the impact of FOCA on Catholic hospitals. Notwithstanding Bill Donohue’s comments, I don’t expect to see the bishops closing hospitals. They have been compromising Catholic doctrine for so long in order to gain the approval of the media and politicians, or money from federal coffers, that they will most assuredly find some way to compromise to keep their hospitals open in the face of FOCA.” Eleazar

    If you can’t protect the unborn, the weakest in society, a child in its mother’s womb, you won’t be much good at protecting the rest of us. Yes, war is certainly anti-life; but we’ve murdered over 40,000,000 unborn who were no threat to us. We have literally hundreds of programs in place to help women keep their babies from tax credits to housing allowances, to WIC and food stamps, to government loans for education, and still you want to kill them in the name of “choice” and not imposing your morality.

  4. Norma:

    It’s not reborn until it has been reintroduced into Congress. I’m sorry you don’t get that. I just checked Thomas, and there are 15 bills related to abortion. Two are versions of the Support Pregnancy Act, which I think deserves people’s vote and which the prolife community should be pushing. The other 13 so far are various abortion restrictions that deserve reading and be judged according to their effectiveness at the state level in reducing abortion. But FOCA isn’t among them.

    And there isn’t yet enough support for pregnant women. See Feminists for Life for details.

    I urge everyone to periodically check either THOMAS or OpenCongress.org for new FOCA like legislation. If you find any, let me know, but give me a bill number.

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