Congressman Misleading Constituents on Pro-Abortion Freedom of Choice Act
by Steven Ertelt
March 23, 2009
Washington, DC (LifeNews.com) — At least one member of Congress is misleading his constituents on the so-called Freedom of Choice Act — the radical pro-abortion bill. The congressman is telling his constituents that they have nothing to fear because the bill will not be introduced.
Bill Haywood, who heads a local pro-life group in Virginia, says Rep. Rick Boucher recently responded to a letter a member of his group wrote concerning FOCA.
The bill, as introduced in a previous session of Congress, would make unlimited abortions throughout pregnancy for any reason the national law and overturn hundreds of pro-life laws in every state in the nation.
In a letter to the constituent, Boucher makes it appear that pro-life concerns about the bill are unfounded and that there was no reason for the voter to write to him. Moreover, Boucher makes it appear pro-life groups are providing people with false information.
"No legislation entitled the Freedom of Choice Act has been introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives. There is no legislation pending before the House by that name, nor has any action been taken by any House committee or by the full House of Representatives on such a measure," Boucher writes.
"Any information you may have received to the contrary is inaccurate," Boucher claims.
However, the letter shows Boucher and his staff are not aware of the fact that the radical pro-abortion bill is on its way.
Boucher’s letter is dated March 10, but four days earlier, a spokesman for Rep. Jerrold Nadler, a New York Democrat who is chairman of a House Judiciary subcommittee that could consider the bill, said the bill is forthcoming.
Ilan Kayatsky told the St. Louis Post Dispatch that FOCA "is among the congressman’s priorities. We expect to reintroduce it sooner rather than later."
"We expect it to be more or less the same bill with some minor tweaks," Kayatsky said. He indicated he expects pro-abortion Sen. Barbara Boxer to introduce a companion bill shortly.
While pro-abortion members of Congress like Boucher may play down the coming introduction of the FOCA bill, pro-life advocates say it would have devastating effects.
Matt Bowman, a pro-life attorney with the Alliance Defense Fund, estimates that FOCA could result in an increase of 125,000 abortions or more annually throughout the country.
"Advocates and opponents of FOCA all agree that the bill would nullify every legal limit on abortion, state, federal or otherwise," he explains. "Abortion advocates who want FOCA concur: NOW, NARAL, Planned Parenthood, and FOCA sponsor Senator Barbara Boxer all contend that FOCA will strike down all state pro-life laws."
"The shockwaves that FOCA would cause are immense and wide-ranging, but recent research shows one effect in particular. Certain state laws that are doomed under FOCA actually prevent a statistically significant number of abortions. These laws include parental involvement requirements, informed consent laws, and restrictions on government funding of abortions," Bowman adds.
Meanwhile, Catholic leaders worry that they would have to close some hospitals because of the threat FOCA poses.
Michael Moses, a top attorney for the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, adds that the language of FOCA is so far-reaching that it will remove any conscience clause measures from state laws that protect doctors, hospitals and medical professionals who don’t want to be involved in abortions.
Moses’ reading of the proposed legislation is that if abortion is a fundamental right that can’t ever be infringed, then every hospital and medical center must do abortions — including Catholic and other religious or private hospitals that object to doing them.
Should Congress approve FOCA, President Barack Obama has already indicated he would sign the measure. During the presidential campaign, Obama promised in a speech to Planned Parenthood that the bill would be the first he would sign as president.
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