Bishop Warns of Obama's Promise to Implement Extreme "Freedom of Choice Act"
By Jonquil Frankham
PATERSON, New Jersey, October 21, 2008 (LifeSiteNews.com) – Bishop Arthur Serratelli of Paterson, NJ penned a column for his diocesan website this week, warning his diocese of the possible implementation of the radical Freedom of Choice Act (FOCA), particularly under a possible Obama presidency.
In the article Bishop Serratelli compares Barack Obama to King Herod, the king during the life of Christ who ordered the beheading of John the Baptist in order to keep a promise he had made to Salome. Much like Herod, writes Serratelli, Obama has made a promise - to pass the Freedom of Choice Act. However, should Obama keep this promise, "not only will many of our freedoms as Americans be taken from us, but the innocent and vulnerable will spill their blood."
The Freedom of Choice Act (FOCA) is a bill introduced in the United States Congress in 2004. It would remove all restrictions on abortion in the United States, both on the state and federal level. "FOCA goes far beyond guaranteeing the right to an abortion throughout the nine months of pregnancy. It arrogantly prohibits any law or policy interfering with that right," says Bishop Serratelli. This is the "dark reality" kept secret by propagandists for 'choice.'
The bill is strongly supported by presidential candidate Barack Obama, who promised in a speech for Planned Parenthood that "the first thing he would do as President would be to sign the Freedom of Choice Act."
Among those no longer free to choose under FOCA, says the bishop, would be pro-life doctors and nurses, whose freedom of conscience is currently protected under the law. Religious hospitals and clinics would also be forced to perform abortions up until the birth of the baby.
NARAL America presents the bill as a systematic presentation of Roe vs. Wade, but opponents like Bishop Serratelli note that it would eliminate those restrictions the 1973 court case allowed, such as parental consent, waiting periods, information for mothers regarding emotional and psychological dangers, and restrictions on late-term abortions.
The bishop hails the death of freedom, should FOCA get passed. "Gone the freedom of conscience so essential for a civil society," the bishop tells his readers. "Gone the freedom of women and young girls to have all the information they need to make their own choices!"
The bill would also "force taxpayers to fund abortions," thereby nullifying the fundamental American policy of taxation with representation. It would also "redefine a woman's 'health' so as to expressly permit post-viability abortions." The bishop clarifies, "Thus, a child who survives an abortion can be left to die for the health of the mother … This is infanticide. Gone the freedom of her baby, once born, to live!"
Pro-Abortion advocates' "zeal for the Freedom of Choice Act," Bishop Serratelli writes, "sounds the alarm for decent Americans to wake up! The more the right to life is denied, the more we lose our freedoms. The 'pro-choice' movement is not pro-choice. It stands against the freedom to choose what is right according to the truth of the human person... At this point, we are still free to choose!"
Bishops: Catholics "Morally Obliged" to Oppose Roe v. Wade
WASHINGTON, D.C., October 22, 2008 (LifeSiteNews.com) - In an October 21 statement Cardinal Justin Rigali of Philadelphia and Bishop William Murphy of Rockville Centre, N.Y., said, "Our faith requires us to oppose abortion on demand and to provide help to mothers facing challenging pregnancies," The bishops urged Catholics to study the teaching of the Church, rather than rely on statements and materials from outside groups and individuals.
Cardinal Rigali, chair of the U.S. bishops' Committee on Pro-Life Activities, and Bishop Murphy, chair of the bishops' Committee on Domestic Justice and Human Development, made the joint statement in response to arguments that the Church should accept the Supreme Court's Roe v. Wade decision on abortion as a "permanent fixture of constitutional law" and should concede that the only way to reduce abortions is to provide more government support for pregnant women.
At the same time the two bishops also responded to those who argue that the Church's efforts against abortion should focus solely on restoring recognition for unborn children's human rights and that proposals to provide social and economic support for pregnant women distract from that effort.
"Providing support for pregnant women so they choose to have their babies is a necessary but not sufficient response to abortion. Similarly, reversal of Roe is a necessary but not sufficient condition for restoring an order of justice in our society's treatment of defenseless human life," they said.
The bishops also noted that "in 1973, the U.S. Supreme Court's Roe v. Wade decision knocked down laws against abortion in all 50 states, fabricating a constitutional 'right' to abortion that continues to haunt and divide our society. ... Roe v. Wade is a clear case of an 'intrinsically unjust law' we are morally obliged to oppose. Reversing it is not a mere political tactic, but a moral imperative for Catholics and others who respect human life," they said.
The bishops added that legalizing abortion had greatly increased annual abortions in the United States. "The law is a teacher, and Roe taught many women, physicians and others that abortion is an acceptable answer to a wide range of problems."
The bishops noted strides made in modifying Roe v. Wade's unjust legal precedent and drew attention to the many lives saved by the modest laws and regulations allowed under Roe. They voiced concern that the pending pro-abortion "Freedom of Choice Act" (S. 1173, H.R. 1964) in Congress would threaten advances made in limiting abortions.
"Bans on public funding [of abortion], laws requiring informed consent for women and parental involvement for minors, and other modest and widely supported laws have saved millions of lives. Laws made possible by reversing Roe would save many more," they said.
"On the other hand, this progress could be lost through a key pro-abortion proposal, the 'Freedom of Choice Act,' which supporters say would knock down hundreds of current pro-life laws and forbid any public program to 'discriminate' against abortion in providing services to women," Cardinal Rigali and Bishop Murphy said.
"By protecting the child's life to the maximum degree possible, improving life-affirming support for pregnant women, and changing the attitudes and prejudices imposed on many women to make them see abortion as an acceptable or necessary solution, we will truly help build a culture of life," they said.