Is FOCA not the true clear and present danger?

Remember that entry I posted wherein it was suggested that perhaps FOCA was a head-feint to distract the pro-life movement from the quieter agenda?

This is in from CNA:

‘Prevention First Act’ greater threat than FOCA, pro-lifers warn

Washington DC, Feb 4, 2009 / 07:05 am (CNA).- Some pro-life leaders warn that activism against the Freedom of Choice Act (FOCA) is distracting attention from its “evil twin,” the Prevention First Act (PFA). The PFA provides more taxpayer funding for contraception and abortion and contains coercive elements which could deny federal funding to some pro-life hospitals.



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  1. Magdalene says:

    There will be found a way to sneak the death dealing provisions in without much public notice. They could tack some of it onto another more’innocuous bill for example.

    While the government is busy buying out the banks and investment and auto industries and now setting salaries perhaps as well and while our freedoms are being one by one and the national debt is doubling…all I can say is, How do you like the change so far?

  2. Argent says:

    Hence the need to be ever-vigilant.

    Prevention First Act S. 21

    Notice the euphemism “unintended pregnancy reduction act”. Or “compassionate assistance for rape emergencies”.

    Committee chair of Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions is Sen. Ted Kennedy. Big umbrella that committee.

  3. We cannot allow ourselves to fall into the trap of debating which is worse. That will be the real distraction, the apple of discord, the stone of division the Enemy will throw into our midst. Let us keep focused and on message: we will defend life always and everywhere, without qualification and without compromise on principle.

    Let us also remember to give credit where credit is due: we should welcome and praise leaders’ decisions to act in a manner that favors life; e.g., when the president asks congressional leaders to remove contraception and abortion funding from the stimulus bill, he is to be lauded, hard as that is, and minuscule as his concession may seem or even really be.

    We must be called to offer prophetic witness – neither such witness, nor the feelings we might like to think are associated with it, are ours to prefer. We are certainly not at liberty to prefer the feelings of righteous indignation to responsible participation in the political process – and responsible, in this case, means acting prudently to save lives.

    Said simply, we must not be afraid to use the stick; neither ought we to poison the carrot.

  4. Laura Lowder says:

    the pro-abort, deconstructionist mindset is so multi-dimensional, we can’t be complacent, expecting it to be revealed in only one place. There’s also the dangers of “comprehensive sex ed” which must of course also include the demand that abortion is kept safe and legal in order to clean up the wreckage of said “education”…

    The spirit of this world is really on a rampage!

  5. Todd says:

    If a convincing case were made that abortion was a poor choice and hardly anyone would embrace it, then all the legal support for the abortion industry would amount to nothing. Or it would move to China.

    The feint of FOCA or PFA or Roe is that they can disconnect individuals from making a difference where they are, where they live, and whom they associate with.

    Instead of postcards to politicians about a dead bill, what about postcards to the volunteers of the local Birthright, or Rachel’s Choice, or any of the other fine pro-life action agencies. Does it occur to people that pro-life volunteers are looking for reinforcement and cheer in a difficult and demanding ministry?What about reaching out and thanking women who have opted out of abortion? Do you think childrearing troubles end for a person who was desperate enough to consider an abortion?

    Politics may or may not move on abortion, but why not more effort to a real need in your neighborhood? Other have alluded to sticks and carrots as it you’re talking to a horse. Unhitch the image, and sit down and support a real individual for a change. We can’t be sure any of the legislative stuff will pass. But we do know people are in pain and anguish. Starting there is a worthy option.

  6. The Prevention First Act is the legislation that has a real chance of being passed and becoming Obama’s legacy on abortion. Its directly tied to his argument that the best answer to the problem is to find ‘common ground’ on how to reduce abortion. (with this trick he reels in the likes of Bob Casey Jr. and others) Obama does not need FOCA, freedom of choice still trumps pro-life concerns and there will be no more pro-life justices for 4 or 8 years. Why make a controversial move now? His policy position that ‘we find common ground’ bypasses the whole pro-life debate, imposes the conclusion that the right to choose has won over the right to life and we need to move on to “practical solutions” and reduce the number of abortions.

    The prevention First Act assumes freedom of choice. If Obama can convince the country that his prevention effort is the way to go he can impose the Freedom to choose with pro-life justices and maybe down the road slip FOCA through since abortion restrictions ‘do nothing to limit abortions.’

    Maybe I am overstating Obama’s goals, though I believe they are implied by his argument, but it is clear that we need to fight Prevention First and do so loudly. Perhaps the fight against FOCA can be used to expose Obama’s assumptions and his false beliefs about the effectiveness of abortion restrictions. Actually, I question whether he doubts the effectiveness of restrictions. I think he simply overlooks them and ignores the evidence in his adoring gaze at the idea of choice.

  7. Matt says:

    Some of us are trying to equip others for this fight. See our blog if you like.

    We are also concerned that FOCA is the big target but that the legislative process far from transparent. A resource I use is the pro-life Family Research Council. They do good work communicating to lawmakers and the press and informing the public on this and other important issues. Their mission statement in part says: “public debate and formulates public policy that values human life and upholds the institutions of marriage and the family.”

  8. Papabile says:

    The fight will be in the appropriations process. That’s the easiest place to attack the progress we have made in the pro-life arena…. Hyde… Dickey Wicker… That’s where they will hit us.

    The Prevention First Act is referred to multiple committees and unlikely to move quickly, unless it’s author waives the whole Committee process (as she can do, because she’s chair of Rules Committee).

  9. Peggy says:

    Interesting. Our bishop (Belleville IL diocese) has asked pastors to convey similar information–but not mentioning the PFA as a stealth threat. The CNA brief our chancery passed on had a quote from Bp. Lync–who didn’t stand up for Terri Schiavo recall–who says FOCA is no threat to Catholic hospitals. Admittedly, FOCA may or may not pass, but it is premature to assure folks it won’t have an impact on Catholic medical service provision. The bishop’s request is annoying as parishes are participating in the postcard campaign this week.

  10. Ohio Annie says:

    And there can be funding for immoral things in the so-called “stimulus package” and also in any revamping of the medical care system. At least Daschle is gone now.

    We must be vigilant at all the laws being passed and all the executive orders.

    What a mess.

    And pray always of course.

  11. joanne says:

    Vigilance is good. Prayer, which may even help us to discern where to focus our vigilance, is even more powerful. Lent is on the way, and so is 40 Days For Life, a tremendous opportunity to gather with the faithful near you to pray for an end to abortion, to fast, to speak out for the unborn in your community! Check out the nearest location for the “spring” national 40 Days For Life Campaign (Feb 25-April 5) at
    In the combined 120 days of the last three campaigns, more than 1000 children have been saved from abortion!!
    These are visible results for which we can rejoice and praise God as we anticipate His blessings this spring!

  12. Okay, Anthony M. Stevens-Arroyo over at Newsweek has made the argument that Pelosi is more pro-life than Bill Donahue continuing the Kmiec and Obama deception. Its reported on at CMR. This makes it clear, liberal Catholic media are going to work hard to neutralize the pro-life issue to favor the democrats and pretend they have cared all along.

    Most importantly, the Prevention first Act is their effort to convince the country that being pro-life has nothing to do with abortion restriction. If they can do this passing FOCA will be easy down the road.

  13. Dave N. says:

    FOCA passage is a complete canard. It makes the pro-life movement look silly and ill-informed.

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