Fox Valley Catholics and the Freedom of Choice Act

Slaughter of the Holy InnocentsTwo recent articles in the Aurora Beacon News have spotlighted resistance to the Freedom of Choice Act (FOCA) by Fox Valley Catholics. While FOCA is a grave concern for all pro-life Americans, the threat posed by this bill to the Catholic health care system makes the issue particularly troubling for Catholics. A January 28 article entitled “Catholics join to oppose pro-choice law” features a several comments from one of our stalwart pro-life activists, Maureen Pott, on the local Church’s effort to prevent FOCA from being passed by the U.S. Congress. Slaughter of the Holy InnocentsMaureen is the chairman of the Respect Life Committee at St. Peter’s in Geneva, and has been involved in the fight against Planned Parenthood Aurora right form the beginning. She lays out the devastating impact if FOCA passes and is signed into law by President Obama: “All the laws we have fought for, which were enacted to protect women from abortion, will be null and void.” FOCA was introduced in 2004 by Barbara Boxer (D-California), one of the Senate’s most radical pro-abortion members. Beacon reporter Christine Moyer writes that FOCA would “prohibit government interference with a woman’s right to have an abortion,” but makes no mention of the measures FOCA would dismantle, such as parental involvement laws and the state and federal bans on partial birth abortion. During his campaign, Barack Obama vowed to sign FOCA into law if Congress sends it to his desk. In a February 2 article, “Catholic hospitals fight abortion bill,” Patricia Bainbridge, of the Diocese of Rockford’s Respect Life Office, says, “if FOCA passes, the impact’s going to be felt by Catholic hospitals.” Slaughter of the Holy InnocentsBainbridge explains that FOCA could bar Catholic hospitals from “discriminating” by refusing to provide abortions and gut measures that protect physicians from having to participate in abortions. FOCA could mean the collapse of the Catholic health care system. This would be a catastrophe for health care in the U.S. To lend your voice to the growing chorus of Americans of all faiths opposing FOCA, join the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops’ National Postcard Campaign. Make sure your congressman and senators know you want them to vote NO on FOCA.

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