Catholic Bishops Urge Huge Anti-FOCA Campaign to Stop Abortion Expansion
by Steven Ertelt
November 11, 2008
Baltimore, MD(LifeNews.com) — Meeting on the second day of their annual conference, the nation’s Catholic bishops urged an aggressive campaign to oppose the pro-abortion bill expected to be the centerpiece of the Barack Obama administration. They also mentioned concerns about Catholic hospitals being forced to do abortions.
The FOCA bill, known as the Freedom of Choice Act, is the number one goal of abortion advocates, who feel emboldened by Obama’s election.
It would not only make unlimited abortions throughout pregnancy a national law but it would overturn the laws in all 50 states designed to reduce abortions.
During the meeting, the bishops appeared united in their call for an aggressive campaign to defeat the measure in Congress or to take it to court if it becomes law.
Archbishop George Niederauer of San Francisco urged his colleagues to oppose FOCA early and often, both with members of Congress and with the new administration.
At the end of the discussion, the bishops voted to authorize Cardinal Francis George of Chicago, the president of the national conference of bishops, to release another strong statement against the bill as the USCCB has done already.
The statement included talking points saying that the Catholic bishops were willing to work with Obama on common issues like the economy, immigration and health care, but ready to strenuously oppose any efforts to expand abortions further.
The church is also resolute in opposing evil, and the bishops are completely united and resolute in our teaching and defense of the unborn child from the moment of conception.
The bishops also expressed concern about FOCA because it could overturn protections for Catholic hospitals that don’t want to do abortions.
Some of the bishops, during the discussion, went as far as saying the Catholic Church should be willing to close some health facilities rather them allow them to be subject to a mandate to do abortions from the Obama administration.
Auxiliary Bishop Thomas Paprocki of Chicago spoke up about the threats to Catholic health care under the bill.
It could mean discontinuing obstetrics in our hospitals, and we may need to consider taking the drastic step of closing our Catholic hospitals entirely, Paprocki said. It would not be sufficient to withdraw our sponsorship or to sell them to someone who would perform abortions. That would be a morally unacceptable cooperation in evil.
I do not think Im being alarmist in considering such drastic steps, he said. We need to respond in a morally appropriate, responsible fashion.
During the campaign, Obama promised the bill would be the first he would sign as president. The FOCA measure would overturn state laws such as bans on taxpayer-funding of abortion, parental notification and consent, informed consent for women, and conscience protections for medical facilities and personnel.
Experts say FOCA could increase abortions as much as 125,000 per year.
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