Bishop: Freedom of Choice Act Unjustifiable

Says Law Will Allow Full Access to Abortion

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KANSAS CITY, Missouri, OCT. 28, 2008 ( A U.S. bishop says people of good will should question a candidate’s determination to reduce abortions when he also promises to immediately sign upon taking office the Freedom of Choice Act.

Bishop Robert Finn of Kansas City-St. Joseph said this in a statement last week that aimed to educate voters about a bill the next U.S. president might have the chance to sign into law or veto.

The bishop explained: «The Freedom of Choice Act (FOCA), was first introduced in November of 1989. […] The more recent wording of FOCA, introduced last year, is as follows: A government may not: (1) deny or interfere with a woman’s right to choose — (A) to bear a child; (B) to terminate a pregnancy prior to viability; or (C) to terminate a pregnancy after viability where termination is necessary to protect the life or health of the woman; or (2) discriminate against the exercise of the rights set forth in paragraph (1) in the regulation or provision of benefits, facilities, services, or information.»

Bishop Finn explained that this act applies to «every federal, state, and local statute, ordinance, regulation, administrative order, decision, penalty, practice, or other action enacted, adopted, or implemented before or after the date of enactment of this act.»

It would thus «make null and void every current restriction on abortion in all jurisdictions,» he said.

Citing an article from the Family Research Council, the bishop noted that among the laws FOCA would automatically overturn are 44 states’ laws concerning parental involvement; 40 states’ laws on restricting later-term abortions; and 46 states’ conscience protection laws for individual health care providers; as well as 38 states’ bans on partial-birth abortions.


Bishop Finn then mentioned a group «calling itself Catholics in Alliance for the Common Good, which says that electing candidates who have permissive or clearly pro-choice stances in support of abortion, but are determined to provide more assistance to poor and vulnerable women and families, would actually help to reduce abortions in the United States.»

«This group,» he said, «I believe has its priorities backward.»

«It seems unlikely,» Bishop Finn contended, «that candidates advocating full access to abortion — which attacks the most vulnerable poor, the unborn — will at the same time have a consistent or principle-based plan for helping other poor people. […] When a candidate pledges to provide ‘comprehensive sex education’ to school children and promises to promote — or to ‘sign immediately upon taking office’ — the Freedom of Choice Act, Catholics and all people of good will have cause to question the sincerity of the candidate’s determination to reduce abortions.»

Referring to a pastoral letter he wrote with Archbishop Joseph Naumann of Kansas City, Kansas, Bishop Finn affirmed: «[W]e can never vote for a candidate because of his permissive stand on abortion. At the same time, if we are inclined to vote for someone despite their pro-abortion stance, it seems we are morally obliged to establish a proportionate reason sufficient to justify the destruction of 45 million human persons through abortion.

«If we learn that our ‘candidate of choice’ further pledges — through an instrument such as FOCA — to eliminate all existing limitations against abortion, it is that much more doubtful whether voting for him or her can ever be morally justified under any circumstance.»

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