The Freedom of Choice Act (FOCA) is on the minds of many Americans. That’s understandable considering President Obama, during the campaign, stated to a group of Planned Parenthood activists that one of the first things he would do after the inauguration would be to sign FOCA. If in fact it is sent to him intact, he signs it, and it becomes law, in one stroke it will nullify over 580 federal, state and local laws that the pro-life movement has worked so hard to pass these last several decades.
We have not been able to reverse Roe vs. Wade for the simple reason that the Supreme Court has not had a pro-life majority to do so. During these years, however, we have progressively been passing laws that little by little have been protecting unborn babies and their mothers from abortion. They are responsible for greatly reducing the number of annual abortions from a peak of 1,600,000 in the 1980s to about 1,200,000 today. This decrease has occurred because of the protective laws below. Some of those that would be cancelled if FOCA is passed intact include:
- Partial birth abortion bans
- The Hyde Amendment (restricting taxpayer funding of abortions)
- Women’s right to know (informed consent) laws
- Waiting periods
- Parental consent and notification laws
- Bans on abortion after viability (when a child can survive outside the womb)
- State and federal conscience clauses for individual and institutional healthcare providers who decline to participate in abortions
Barack Obama is without question, the most aggressively pro-abortion president in the history of our nation, and tragically, we now also have the most pro-abortion Congress.
Before he was sworn in, there were some who hoped this was just campaign rhetoric and that he would not follow through. In fact, the newly elected president specifically stated that, “we are united in our determination to. reduce the need for abortion.” But that was day one, and before the week was out, he had by executive order reversed the Mexico City Policy. With this move, he makes taxpayers spend hundreds of millions of dollars to fund the performance and promotion of abortions overseas, thus betraying his repeated promise to reduce abortions. Waiting in the wings is UNFPA funding for China’s genocidal one-child policy.
These are executive orders and there will be more—but what of the list of domestic, state and federal laws above? Will reversal of these actually become law?
Apparently not all at once in a FOCA bill. Members of Congress, in both houses, have varying positions on this issue. There are members, particularly the blue dog Democrats in the House, who while often voting the Democrat Party line, nevertheless, will simply not vote for pro-abortion legislation. This probably includes enough members so that there is almost no chance that FOCA will be passed as a single bill.
One of the reasons has been the major public reaction already opposing such an omnibus bill. Another is that President Obama has many other fish to fry. He is deeply immersed in economic problems and will have to face defense issues overseas to name but two. Will he then want to tie up the US Congress for lengthy periods of time debating this hot button issue?
Chances are he will take a politically easier route. Mr. Obama will try to achieve all of the above goals, but will do them piecemeal. He will attempt to insert amendments into various appropriation bills, to modify or reverse the above abortion restrictions one by one. While there is probably enough pro-life strength to prevent passage of the total package in one piece, it is another question if one of these issues is buried in a must-pass appropriation bill. Will there then be enough pro-life strength to hold up an entire bill in order to take one pro-abortion amendment out of it?
Remember the story of dropping a frog into a pot of boiling water? It immediately jumps out. But if you put him in the water when it is cool and then very slowly increase the temperature, he does not jump out and ultimately is cooked. So this very possibly will be their strategy to pass legislation, little by little, with each piece tucked away in a larger bill. In this fashion they might succeed piecemeal, having two years to accomplish this goal before a new Congress is elected.
Another reason why they may proceed slowly is the lesson learned in the first two years of the Clinton administration. At the very start, President Clinton tried to do two major things that failed. One was homosexuals in the military and the other was socialized medicine. In both cases he overreached and lost. These two efforts contributed to the loss of his Democrat majority in both houses of Congress at the next mid-term election. Several of the officials of the Clinton administration who experienced this are now in the Obama administration. They will remember this, and may not want to repeat that loss in two years.
Pro-abortion congressional leaders have already taken their first step. It was to insert a sharp increase in federal funding for contraception and abortive drugs in the “bailout” bill. Happily it failed but we expect this to become a standard practice in the future.
Coming up will be a reversal of funding restrictions, parental notification and consent, informed consent, conscience protections, waiting periods, bans on partial birth abortion and others—each in turn and probably hidden in major must-pass bills.
What can we do to prevent this catastrophic damage done to mothers and babies by the most pro-abortion president and congress in history?
The first thing is to recognize the threat. There is no question that many sincere pro-life people voted for Mr. Obama. They did so for many reasons, but certainly one was that they thought our fears of his pro-abortion activity were overblown. Reality has quickly shown us that our fears were solidly founded.
Once the threat is recognized, all must be alerted-pro-life leaders and the public. We must be constantly vigilant regarding the pro-abortion moves this administration and congress will be making. We must avoid allowing them to slip anything through without our knowledge and publicity.
Compared to past years, we have many new ways of protesting pro-abortion action. We still have postal mail, but it has been eclipsed by cell phones and email. Bloggers and other electronic means are capable of alerting millions within hours. We must alert our elected representatives, keeping them aware of our concerns; letting them understand that if they fail to attempt to stop this pro-abortion juggernaut, they may not be returned to office in the next election.
We must prepare for future elections. It has been estimated that as many as 4 million pro-life people did not vote in this past election. Every pro-life individual of voting age must register and vote in the next election. It will be possible to then regain precious lost ground.
Give of your time and resources. We cannot compete equally with the well-funded pro-abortion movement. But we can have faith that the Lord will multiply our meager contributions to the pro-life movement and use them to help save unborn babies. So you must increase your level of giving to this and other activist pro-life groups. Only then can we fight effectively.
Share your concerns with others. Bring them up-to-speed by using available technology like your email address books, text messaging, Twitter, Facebook and other websites. Include your circle of friends, co-workers, neighbors and church members. Use all of the available technology and resources to alert and stimulate pro-lifers. Along with this, sign the online petition against FOCA and get others to do it. [Editor’s note: previously published link outdated.]
Prayer is probably the most important single tool. In so many ways, the United States is the hope of the world in combating this plague of killing innocent unborn babies. Now, in the face of this catastrophically evil turn of events, we have to pray like we have never prayed before. In the judgment of Almighty God, is the United States worthy of divine help or do we, in at least a partial sense, deserve what we are getting? We must work like we have never worked before, but we must also pray as though everything depends upon our prayers.
There is hope. To borrow the words of our pro-abortion President, “Yes we can!” Yes we can, defend America’s unborn babies! Yes we can, turn back this pro-abortion juggernaut! Life Issues Institute is closely monitoring future developments with FOCA. As pieces are introduced, we will sound the alarm and alert you to the best plan of action. This can easily be accomplished if you sign up for our free email alerts. Go to www.lifeissues.org. Place your cursor over the words “About Us” at the top of the home page and you’ll see a pull-down menu. Click on “Subscribe” and then follow directions. It’s easy.
[Editor’s note: The website has been redesigned since this article was written. To receive our weekly email news, look for the Sign Up box on the Home page or use the Sign Up form on this page.]