Judie Brown
September 25, 2008
F.O.C.A.: focal point of pro-abort full-court press
By Judie Brown

Hidden behind the headlines, but rarely discussed in polite company, is the dire measure pro-abortion forces are committed to enacting because the personhood movement has become a real threat to their deadly agenda. Hardly anybody talks about the Freedom of Choice Act (http://www.govtrack.us/congress/bill.xpd?bill=s110-1173) these days, but SOME rumblings have started. I am grateful to Cardinal Justin Rigali (http://www.archdiocese-phl.org/rigali/indexrigali.htm), Committee on Pro-Life Activities chairman for the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, for exposing this danger.

In case you have not heard about this legislative nightmare, let me give you a few highlights. The first is the most obvious, and that is that if FOCA were to become law, Roe v. Wade would be enshrined in U.S. law. In other words, it would establish abortion as a fundamental right. But when we analyze those two words, we need to look no further than David Limbaugh's (http://www.worldnetdaily.com/news/article.asp?ARTICLE_ID=45922) comments to see the fallacy in those words. For, as he writes,

    If the right to an abortion were fundamental, wouldn't there have been a consensus for it among the individual states long before Roe v. Wade in 1973? But Justice Scalia, in his opinion in Planned Parenthood v. Casey, reminds us that the opposite is true. Scalia wrote, "[T]he long-standing traditions of American society have permitted [abortion] to be legally proscribed." As such, the right couldn't possibly be considered fundamental in any real sense of that word.

Truly, at least in my humble opinion, what the pro-abortion forces want is something they know the courts will not give them, particularly when we are now on the verge of at least one state establishing personhood in a permanent and unchallengeable way.

But let's look further into this FOCA problem. The USCCB's Office of the General Counsel issued a memorandum confirming that http://www.usccb.org/prolife/FOCAanalysis.pdf the proposed law would prohibit any type of interference with a woman's "fundamental right" to abortion, and it would provide a civil remedy to any woman who argued that her 'rights" under FOCA had been violated in any way. Not only that, but the civil action section of the proposed law would mean that FOCA would be applicable to "every Federal, State, and local statute, ordinance, regulation, administrative order, decision, policy, practice or other action enacted, adopted, or implemented before, on or after the date of enactment of this Act."

To describe FOCA as a draconian proposal is an understatement. With the stroke of a pen, if a U.S. president were to sign such a bill into law, nearly all pro-life legislative activity would be rendered meaningless.

In his letter to members of Congress, http://www.usccb.org/prolife/FOCArigaliltr.pdf, Cardinal Rigali stated,

    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. FOCA would coerce all Americans into subsidizing and promoting abortion with their tax dollars. And FOCA would counteract any and all sincere efforts by government to reduce abortions in our country.

We are encouraged that Cardinal Rigali has called on every member of Congress to pledge their opposition to this proposal, but we would also like point out that much more needs to be done than merely encouraging politicians to do something pro-lifers have been asking them to do for decades. If politicians could see abortion's tragic impact on our future in light of current economic trends, that would be one thing, but sadly, most politicians either cannot connect the dots or refuse to acknowledge the possibility that the connection exists at all!

Pro-life leader Dennis Howard has been making this point for years now, and his most recent analysis (http://www.movementforabetteramerica.org/economicimpact.html) of abortion's economic impact is readily available to anyone, including elected officials. He is one of many who have warned that "the estimated loss in downstream tax revenue exceeds $14 trillion — more than twice our current national debt. It is, in fact, the greatest tax increase of all time. That's why, even if abortion ends, it will still take more than a generation to recover."

During a time when it is increasingly difficult to get people to see beyond politics — at what abortion actually does to a child — I believe we should all be working to restore legal recognition of personhood at the state and federal levels. We should not hesitate, and we should be armed with all of the scientific, ethical and economic facts we need to make this case. The real question is this: Do we have the will to make this happen?

You see, we do not have the media access that our opposition does. We could not, for example, hope that the New York Times would invite Cardinal Rigali to write an op-ed on personhood, even though they recently allotted space for Hillary Clinton and Planned Parenthood president Cecile Richards (http://www.nytimes.com/2008/09/19/opinion/19clinton.html?ex=1379563200&en=2c72364b0c841ab0&ei=5124&partner=permalink&exprod=permalink) to claim that the latest Health and Human Services proposed rule, designed to protect healthcare workers from having to be involved in abortion, was actually denying services to women!

These two revealed their greatest concern when they wrote,

    The definition of abortion in the proposed rule is left open to interpretation. An earlier draft included a medically inaccurate definition that included commonly prescribed forms of contraception like birth control pills, IUD's and emergency contraception. That language has been removed, but because the current version includes no definition at all, individual health care providers could decide on their own that birth control is the same as abortion.

Note their use of the phrase "medically inaccurate." It would seem that our pro-abortion counterparts not only have media's ear but are also permitted to twist science to suit their own agendas. Clearly, the media is into that game as well.

So, while the New York Times, ABC, CBS, NBC, CNN, FOX and all of the rest of the so-called mainstream news media are not beating down our doors to hear about the reasons why every preborn child is a person who deserves equal protection under the law, we are and must remain committed to the truth.

The FOCA proposal is alive and well, my fellow pro-life Americans, and the antidote is not hand wringing; it is personhood. May we have the courage, fortitude and zeal to beat back those who preach death by proclaiming abortion as a fundamental right. We will do so by tossing FOCA into the flames as the establishment of legally protected personhood becomes a reality.

Click here to view the USCCB's press release on this extremely dangerous bill: http://www.usccb.org/comm/archives/2008/08-138.shtml

© Judie Brown

 

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Judie Brown

Judie Brown is president and co-founder of American Life League, the nation's largest grassroots pro-life educational organization... (more)

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