ST. PAUL, Minnesota, OCT. 30, 2008 ( When U.S. Congress debates the Freedom of Choice Act in January, it will be considering going even beyond the Supreme Court decision legalizing abortion, says a Minnesota prelate.

Archbishop John Nienstedt of St. Paul-Minneapolis affirmed this in a Wednesday article in the Catholic Spirit newspaper.

"If enacted, this would become the first time in our nation's history that abortion is established as an 'entitlement,'" the archbishop warned. "This, in effect, would move our country beyond even the Supreme Court's decision of Roe v. Wade.

"It would also do away with a large number of existing state laws on abortion, substantially impede the ability of states to regulate abortion, and override nearly 40 years of jurisprudential experience on the subject of abortion.

"Legal experts say it would likely invalidate informed consent laws, parental notification laws, laws promoting maternal health -- if they result in an increased cost for abortions, abortion clinic regulations -- even those designed to make abortion safer for women, laws prohibiting a particular abortion procedure -- such as partial-birth abortion, and laws requiring that abortions only be performed by a licensed physician."

More radical?

The Minnesota prelate said it "is hard to imagine a more radical piece of pro-abortion legislation. FOCA would have a devastatingly destructive impact on the government's ability to regulate abortion."

Archbishop Nienstedt urged the faithful to contact Congressional representatives and tell them to vote against the bill.

"In effect, FOCA would certainly be a boon to the abortion industry with the government forced to condone and promote such procedures," the archbishop concluded. "Now is the time to reduce, not increase, the incidence of abortion. Now is the time to work for the defeat of the Freedom of Choice Act."