Stop the radical Freedom of Choice Act Print
Respect Life
Tuesday, Jan. 13, 2009 -- 4:36 PM

The Freedom of Choice Act (FOCA) has been surfacing for years, so why are dioceses across the country mounting a massive postcard campaign now?  

The urgency is that President-Elect Obama has promised to sign this radical legislation. In speaking to the Planned Parenthood Action Fund, July 17, 2007, Senator Obama said, "The first thing I'd do as president is sign the Freedom of Choice Act. That's the first thing that I'd do."

The Freedom of Choice Act might appear under a different name, but under whatever title, it is one of the most radical anti-life pieces of legislation to be promoted. It is important that this legislation NEVER reach the desk of the president.  

The Pro-Life Secretariat of the United States Catholic Conference (USCCB), in collaboration with the National Committee for a Human Life Amendment (NCHLA) and others are calling on people across the nation to make their opinion about FOCA known in Congress.  On the weekend of January 24 and 25 and the weeks following, millions of postcards will be sent to senators and representatives to educate them on our opposition to FOCA.  

What do the postcards say?

The postcards respectfully state, "At this time of serious national challenges, Americans should unite to serve the good of all, born and unborn. The Freedom of Choice Act (FOCA), the most radical and divisive pro-abortion bill ever introduced in Congress, would create a 'fundamental right' to abortion that government could not limit but would have to support. FOCA would overturn many existing widely-supported policies, including laws protecting parental involvement and conscience rights and those preventing partial-birth abortion and taxpayer funding of abortion."  

They ask our elected representatives to oppose FOCA or similar legislation.

Why is it radical?

The current version of FOCA is even worse than prior legislative attempts because it eliminates all language protecting the conscience rights of medical personnel. Doctors and nurses and others unwilling to participate in abortions would have no protection under this legislation.

FOCA would remove all federal statutory and regulatory protections that would "deny or interfere with a woman's right to choose . . .  to terminate a pregnancy. . . . ."  This threatens the existence of Catholic hospitals and clinics because Catholic religious and ethical convictions are dedicated to preserving life, healing people, and providing health care that cherishes life.     

Church supports women

Women in our diocese and across the nation are not left alone with a difficult pregnancy.  Churches, crisis pregnancy centers, medical facilities, and charitable institutions supply hundreds of referrals, provide material goods, counseling, child care, life training, and many other services.  

What can we do to stop FOCA?

Each parish will be receiving postcards for distribution at Mass January 24 and 25.  These postcards are in strips of three, to allow each person to sign one to Senator Kohl, to Senator Feingold, and to their congressional representative.  

Volunteers are needed in your own parish to stamp, count, and sort the postcards.  If you would like to volunteer, call or send an e-mail with your name, parish, city, and preferred Mass time to Susanna Herro (608-821-3086 or This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it ). You may also volunteer directly in your parish.

Susanna D. Herro is director of the Office of Justice and Pastoral Outreach of the Diocese of Madison.