Saturday, November 1, 2008

Side Effects of FOCA

I think that it's a shame that there hasn't been more discussion of the implications of FOCA and Obama's promise to sign it. This article shows one possible danger that hasn't been discussed at all:

Both sides of the abortion debate readily admit the measure makes unlimited abortions throughout pregnancy a national law and legal right, and that it would invalidate virtually all abortion limits approved by state legislatures in all 50 states.

But the bill could have the affect of closing down Catholic hospitals that refuse to do abortions. Here's how:

As Cardinal Justin Rigali of the Archdiocese of Philadelphia warned in September, the FOCA bill "forbids government at all levels to 'discriminate' against the exercise of this [abortion] right 'in the regulation or provision of benefits, facilities, services, or information.'"

"For the first time, abortion on demand would be a national entitlement that government must condone and promote in all public programs affecting pregnant women," the Catholic official explained.

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 do them.

John Vennari, the editor of the Catholic Family News publication, points out that the measure could easily put Catholics hospitals out of business that want to continue opting out of doing abortions rather than violate their religious beliefs.

"This aspect of Obama's candidacy has been eclipsed by endless talk about the economy," Vennari writes.

Think this can't happen? Catholic Charities in Massachusetts stopped placing children for adoption when the law demanded that they place children with same-sex couples. If Catholic hospitals are required under FOCA to perform abortions then the Church will have no choice but to get out of the health-care business altogether.

I really can't see how any Catholic can think for a moment that it will be a good thing, or even an okay thing, for Obama to become president. It will be a horrible time for pro-life Americans, Catholics and others.


KC said...

The doctors will be affected as well. They will no longer be protected. Refusing to assist or perform in abortions can result in losing their jobs.

It amazes me that it's all in the name of "choice".

This_Cross_I_Embrace said...

I hadn't really thought of this, but yes, it makes perfect sense. This is so very upsetting. And I didn't know about CC of Massachusetts, either... it really makes me sick to think that if my husband and I file for adoption, we'd probably be last in line behind all the same-sex couples these agencies don't want to "offend." (Not CC of course.)

Anonymous said...

from scotch meg:

I fear FOCA. But even more, I fear those who will argue against closing Catholic hospitals, because a few abortions will be such a small price to pay, when weighed against the good that these hospitals do for the poor. Will our bishops have the courage to bear witness, to say that this we cannot tolerate, that this we cannot perform, that we will have to shutter our institutions rather than compromise?

Anonymous said...

This is a big topic of discussion in our home right now. My husband works for a Catholic healthcare system in IS. This is concerning on many levels right now.

Lisa said...

I didn't mean to post anonymous - sorry.