THE FOCUS ON FOCA

July 8, 2009

In July 2007, Barack Obama promised a group of his supporters that, if elected president, he would sign perhaps the most evil piece of legislation in the history of our republic.

It's called the "Freedom of Choice Act," or FOCA -- but don't let the Orwellian title fool you. It isn't about "freedom" or "choice" at all. It's about forcing each and every American citizen -- regardless of his or her view on abortion -- to support abortion-on-demand not just as a "fundamental right" but as a taxpayer-funded entitlement.

But the compulsion wouldn't stop there. Because FOCA would also run roughshod over the conscience rights of doctors, nurses, and hospitals that oppose abortion on religious or moral grounds -- forcing them to provide or counsel for abortion or face professional de-certification, loss of funding, lawsuits, and even prosecution.

Not only that, FOCA would immediately strike down any and all state restrictions on abortion -- even those with wide popular support, such as prohibitions on partial-birth abortion and parental notification requirements for minors seeking abortions.

Make no mistake: FOCA is the most radical piece of pro-abortion legislation ever proposed, one that would go far beyond Roe v. Wade in making abortion a government-protected and taxpayer-supported "right," through all nine months of pregnancy.

You see, in his 2007 campaign pledge to Planned Parenthood members, Obama promised that signing FOCA would be "the first thing I'd do as president." The only reason he hasn't followed through on that promise is that Democratic-controlled Congress has yet to introduce and pass it.

Why the delay? For one thing, they've had bigger fish to fry -- such as trillion-dollar "stimulus" packages and a new government-run health care system. They learned from Bill Clinton's immediate post-election action on gays in the military not to squander a new president's honeymoon period on divisive social legislation.

But also, by delaying, they can lull their pro-life opponents into thinking that FOCA has been tabled, while quietly building support for it in a stealth propaganda campaign that is already underway using major media outlets -- such as the Washington Post, which recently ran a piece in its "On Faith" section called "Why Fear FOCA?"

President Obama is merely soft-pedaling the potential impact by back door maneuvering and Senate Democrats are following the game plans.  Apparently deciding to enact FOCA piecemeal, President Obama began chipping away at common ground abortion policy.

During his first 100 days in office, the pro-life movement was forced to fight 26 separate assaults upon pro-life policy. These occurred through procedural initiatives slipped in quietly and nominations of long-time abortion activists to positions with decision making power over abortion policy.

On day four, right on the heels of and in the face of the annual pro-life march in Washington DC, he reversed through executive order the Mexico City Policy which keeps U.S. taxpayer monies out of abortion activities in foreign nations. Taxpayer conscience was not the guiding policy here. This was the most unpopular policy move of his administration up to that date. Only 35 percent of Americans could support this move at a time of economic crisis and foreign policy unrest – especially with Muslim and Catholic nations who don’t believe in and don’t take kindly to Americans aborting their babies through independent agencies.

On day 39, he announced the overturning of Department of Health and Human Services conscience protections for medical providers who refuse to involve themselves in abortions. This, despite his Sunday speech where he spoke in compelling terms about protecting health workers’ consciences. After rejecting the only concrete policies that do protect conscience, he has offered nothing which will do so.

On day 109, he sent in his budget to Congress a proposal to fund abortion in Washington DC, which is already the abortion Capitol of the nation with the highest rate of abortions to live births. Taxpayer funding of abortion is not common ground abortion policy. Funding it increases its incidence – which common sense and data reveal. Yet the President is willing to trample the consciences of the majority of taxpayers (68 percent or more in most polls) who do not want to pay for abortion.

FOCA is now poised for consideration on Capital Hill.  What can we expect if this bill ever reaches Obama's desk?  Well, we do know that the Freedom of Choice Act will:

  • Establish abortion as a "fundamental right," elevating it to the same status as the right to vote and the right to free speech -- going beyond any Supreme Court decision in enshrining unlimited abortion-on-demand into American law;

  • Eliminate every restriction on abortion nationwide -- including 44 states' laws concerning parental involvement, 40 states' laws on restricting later-term abortions, 46 states' conscience protection laws for individual health care providers, 27 states' conscience protection laws for institutions, 38 states' bans on partial-birth abortions, 33 states' laws on requiring counseling before an abortion, and 16 states' laws concerning ultrasounds before an abortion;

  • Compel taxpayer funding of abortions through state and federal welfare programs, federal employee insurance plans, and in military hospitals;

  • Force faith-based hospitals and healthcare facilities to perform abortions;

  • Force doctors and nurses to provide counseling and referral for abortions.

No common ground policy. No protecting conscience. No reducing abortion numbers. This despite his lovely language. So even as he urges the common ground of rhetoric, he undermines action and fails to arrive at real common ground abortion policy. He is unraveling consensus and his ability to lead toward it even while he proclaims it.

Get ready for another onslaught of legislation that threatens to erode not just our nation, but our very consciences themselves.

We believe that the Constitution of the United States speaks for itself. There is no need to rewrite, change or reinterpret it to suit the fancies of special interest groups or protected classes.