St. Paul/Mpls: Archbp. Nienstedt on FOCA and voting

His Excelleny Most Reverend John Nienstedt, Archbishop of St. Paul and Minneapolis has unsheathed his pen concerning the "Freedom of Choice Act".

Here is his statement:

 Abp. Nienstedt: Obama’s Freedom of Choice Act is bad legislation

The Freedom of Choice Act will be considered by Congress (S. 1173, H.R. 1964) when it reconvenes in January.

Contrary to its deceptively clever title, FOCA would create a “fundamental right” for a woman to “terminate a pregnancy prior to fetal viability” or to “terminate a pregnancy after viability where termination is necessary to protect the life or health of the woman.”

No governmental agency at any level (federal, state or local) could “deny or interfere with” this right nor discriminate against the exercise of this right “in the regulation or provision of benefits, facilities, services or information.”

Devastating effects

If enacted, this would become the first time in our nation’s history that abortion is established as an “entitlement.” 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.

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.

I urge our readers to contact their senators and representatives and tell them to vote against this bill.

   Cardinal’s warning

Cardinal Justin Rigali, chairman of our U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Committee on Pro-Life Activities, said on the occasion of last month’s Respect Life Sunday:

“FOCA establishes abortion as a ‘fundamental right’ throughout the nine months of pregnancy, and forbids any law or policy that could ‘interfere’ with that right or ‘discriminate’ against it in public funding and programs. If FOCA became law, hundreds of reasonable, widely supported, and constitutionally sound abortion regulations now in place would be invalidated.

“Gone would be laws providing for informed consent, and parental consent or notification in the case of minors. Laws protecting women from unsafe abortion clinics and from abortion practitioners who are not physicians would be overridden.  Restrictions on partial-birth and other late-term abortions would be eliminated. FOCA would knock down laws protecting the conscience rights of nurses, doctors and hospitals with moral objections to abortion, and force taxpayers to fund abortions throughout the United States.

“We cannot allow this to happen.  We cannot tolerate an even greater loss of innocent human lives.  We cannot subject more women and men to the post-abortion grief and suffering that our counselors and priests encounter daily in Project Rachel programs across America.

“For 24 years, the Catholic Church has provided free, confidential counseling to individuals seeking emotional and spiritual healing after an abortion, whether their own or a loved one’s. We look forward to the day when these counseling services are no longer needed, when every child is welcomed in life and protected in law.  If FOCA is enacted, however, that day may recede into the very distant future.”

In effect, FOCA would certainly be a boon to the abortion industry with the government forced to condone and promote such procedures. 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.

God love you!

I must add that this has implications for voters at the voting booth.  If candidates promote FOCA… don’t vote for them.

Also, the local archdiocesan newspaper The Catholic Spirit has a piece that the Archbishop also spoke on the Catholic radio station Relevant Radio.

Listen to Archbishop Nienstedt radio interview on voting your Catholic conscience
By The Catholic Spirit  

Thursday, 30 October 2008

Archbishop Nienstedt did a 12 minute interview earlier this week with Relevant Radio (1330 AM) addressing the principles of our Faith that Catholics should consider carefully as we approach the voting booths next Tuesday.

The interview, which features direct questions from station manager Brian Acker can be heard this Friday morning on Relevant Radio during their "City Winds" program which begins at 9:00 A.M.  It will also be rebroadcast Saturday evening at 6:00 p.m. and Sunday at 10:00 AM,  just prior to the station’s weekly broadcast of Mass at Saint Olaf Church.


About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

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  1. john says:

    Where is the link for this? I don’t see it at (as of right now).

  2. Noel says:

    It seems to me that with the present make up (liberal – conservative split)of the Supreme Court,
    and this would not likely change with an Obama victory, that FOCA would
    be declared unconstitutional as an improper federal intrusion into an area
    traditionally regulated by state law, and this is certainly part of the
    reasoning in the faulty Roe v. Wade decision itself.

  3. Ray from MN says:

    The link for the FOCA statement:

    The link for the \”voting your conscience\” statement:

  4. Craig says:

    Generally speaking, anytime something is released by the Archdiocese of Saint Paul and Minneapolis, will have the info online ASAP.

  5. joe says:

    I believe the following – so I guess that makes me a Marxist:

    “Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it, misdiagnosing it and then misapplying the wrong remedies.”

    Groucho Marx

Comments are closed.