FOCA Trickle Down





Sacred Heart Medical Center in Spokane, WA There is a lot of speculation about what will happen should a Democratically-controlled Congress passes and President-Elect Obama signs the Freedom of Choice Act into law, thereby negating all pro-life legislation.  Melinda Henneberger contributes to this by speculating on the possible trickle down effect, namely the impact on Catholic Hospitals.  She wrote in an article for Slate yesterday:

What in the world were these bishops talking about, claiming that religious freedom in America was under attack? Keep up the hysterics, boys, I thought as I scanned the latest story, and this will be birth control all over again: Your lips are moving but no one can hear you. And the most ludicrous line out of them, surely, was about how, under Obama, Catholic hospitals that provide obstetric and gynecological services might soon be forced to perform abortions or close their doors. Auxiliary Bishop Thomas Paprocki of Chicago warned of “devastating consequences” to the health care system, insisting Obama could force the closure of all Catholic hospitals in the country. That’s a third of all hospitals, providing care in many neighborhoods that are not exactly otherwise overprovided for. It couldn’t happen, could it?

You wouldn’t think so. Only, I am increasingly convinced that it could. If the Freedom of Choice Act passes Congress, and that’s a big if, Obama has promised to sign it the second it hits his desk. (Here he is at a Planned Parenthood Action Fund event in 2007, vowing, “The first thing I’d do as president is, is sign the Freedom of Choice Act. That’s the first thing I’d do.”) Though it’s often referred to as a mere codification of Roe, FOCA, as currently drafted, actually goes well beyond that: According to the Senate sponsor of the bill, Barbara Boxer, in a statement on her Web site, FOCA would nullify all existing laws and regulations that limit abortion in any way, up to the time of fetal viability. Laws requiring parental notification and informed consent would be tossed out. While there is strenuous debate among legal experts on the matter, many believe the act would invalidate the freedom-of-conscience laws on the books in 46 states. These are the laws that allow Catholic hospitals and health providers that receive public funds through Medicaid and Medicare to opt out of performing abortions. Without public funds, these health centers couldn’t stay open; if forced to do abortions, they would sooner close their doors. Even the prospect of selling the institutions to other providers wouldn’t be an option, the bishops have said, because that would constitute “material cooperation with an intrinsic evil.”

I pray that Congress and President-Elect Obama will realize the impact that a bill such as this would make on the common good.  If they don’t believe this will happen – look what happened to Catholic Charities’ adoption program in Boston when told they had to allow adoptions to homosexual couples.  Instead of capitulating, they closed their doors.  The state’s actions there hurt the common good, as would this legislation if it is passed.

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Comments

  1. says

    FOCA is the most dangerous abortion legislation that I have ever seen or has ever even had a chance of being made into law. I pray Obama will see reason on this.

  2. says

    FOCA is the most dangerous abortion legislation that I have ever seen or has ever even had a chance of being made into law. I pray Obama will see reason on this.

  3. says

    FOCA is the most dangerous abortion legislation that I have ever seen or has ever even had a chance of being made into law. I pray Obama will see reason on this.

  4. says

    Speculation yes.. here is some of what I posted about it:

    1. It seems that this bill would not invalidate all state restrictions on abortion as fetal viability is involved.. also doesn’t address other points such as parental notification.

    2. The bill has never gotten out of committee.. it will be interesting to see if it does and if it is filibuster proof.

    3. I suspect that if it actually does come to a vote it will look differently then the one that didn’t get out of committee.

    4. It will really be interesting to see who actually votes for the bill.. at least we will have an idea who the pro-choice folks (especially the Republican ones) really are.. and how much outrage (read that filibustering) is expressed by the so-called pro-lifers.

    5. If passed and signed the bill will probably and ultimately be contested and decided by the supreme court.

    I will be surprised and saddened if it is actually passed and signed.. alas.. I have been surprised before.

    http://www.kansasbob.com/2008/11/freedom-of-choice-act.html

  5. says

    Speculation yes.. here is some of what I posted about it:

    1. It seems that this bill would not invalidate all state restrictions on abortion as fetal viability is involved.. also doesn’t address other points such as parental notification.

    2. The bill has never gotten out of committee.. it will be interesting to see if it does and if it is filibuster proof.

    3. I suspect that if it actually does come to a vote it will look differently then the one that didn’t get out of committee.

    4. It will really be interesting to see who actually votes for the bill.. at least we will have an idea who the pro-choice folks (especially the Republican ones) really are.. and how much outrage (read that filibustering) is expressed by the so-called pro-lifers.

    5. If passed and signed the bill will probably and ultimately be contested and decided by the supreme court.

    I will be surprised and saddened if it is actually passed and signed.. alas.. I have been surprised before.

    http://www.kansasbob.com/2008/11/freedom-of-choice-act.html

  6. says

    Speculation yes.. here is some of what I posted about it:

    1. It seems that this bill would not invalidate all state restrictions on abortion as fetal viability is involved.. also doesn’t address other points such as parental notification.

    2. The bill has never gotten out of committee.. it will be interesting to see if it does and if it is filibuster proof.

    3. I suspect that if it actually does come to a vote it will look differently then the one that didn’t get out of committee.

    4. It will really be interesting to see who actually votes for the bill.. at least we will have an idea who the pro-choice folks (especially the Republican ones) really are.. and how much outrage (read that filibustering) is expressed by the so-called pro-lifers.

    5. If passed and signed the bill will probably and ultimately be contested and decided by the supreme court.

    I will be surprised and saddened if it is actually passed and signed.. alas.. I have been surprised before.

    http://www.kansasbob.com/2008/11/freedom-of-choice-act.html

  7. says

    There is no mistake to be made – any and all Catholic-operated healthcare facilities that are told they must comply with FOCA will close, as will many other smaller facilities… and like KansasBob, I too have been surprised before. Surprise is not always a pleasant thing.

    Ricks last blog post..Control, anyone?

  8. says

    There is no mistake to be made – any and all Catholic-operated healthcare facilities that are told they must comply with FOCA will close, as will many other smaller facilities… and like KansasBob, I too have been surprised before. Surprise is not always a pleasant thing.

    Ricks last blog post..Control, anyone?

  9. says

    There is no mistake to be made – any and all Catholic-operated healthcare facilities that are told they must comply with FOCA will close, as will many other smaller facilities… and like KansasBob, I too have been surprised before. Surprise is not always a pleasant thing.

    Ricks last blog post..Control, anyone?

  10. says

    Surprised? How often have we been surprised by the unintended or unforeseen effects of a piece of legislation.

    If the door is left ajar, some will not stop until they figure a way to force it open all the way.

    AndyCs last blog post..A Bacon Driven Life

  11. says

    Surprised? How often have we been surprised by the unintended or unforeseen effects of a piece of legislation.

    If the door is left ajar, some will not stop until they figure a way to force it open all the way.

    AndyCs last blog post..A Bacon Driven Life

  12. says

    Surprised? How often have we been surprised by the unintended or unforeseen effects of a piece of legislation.

    If the door is left ajar, some will not stop until they figure a way to force it open all the way.

    AndyCs last blog post..A Bacon Driven Life