Thursday, November 20, 2008

This is sort of what I've been thinking...

...only a lot less eruditely than this!

This awareness that Christians are different, and different in ways that make a very big difference, will, I expect sharply increase in the months and years ahead. For all of President-elect Obama’s wafting language about bringing us together, healing divisions, and so on and so on, if he seriously intends to follow through on his extremist abortion views, we are headed for the intensification of an American version of the Kulturkampf that Bismarck came to rue. The focus is on FOCA, the Freedom of Choice Act, that Obama says he wants to sign on his first day in office. This act would eliminate the very modest restraints and regulations established by states, provide government funding for abortions, and in its present form, require religiously sponsored hospitals and clinics to perpetrate abortions or go out of business.

(Richard John Neuhaus, "The Coming Kulturkampf")

Here's what you need to know about FOCA. Funny how in the name of "choice," the will of the American people (expressed in the passage of numerous laws protecting women and unborn children from gross exploitation) can be completely overruled with one touch of the pen. (The President-elect promised Planned Parenthood in 2007 that passing this Act would be one of his presidential priorities.)


Anonymous said...

Bishop Paprocki says that if FOCA requires Catholic hospitals to perform abortions, there will be no choice but to close the hospitals.

The possible repercussions of FOCA are staggering.


The Dutchman said...

It’s hard to say what FOCA would actually do since both pro- and anti-abortion activists have been grandstanding on this issue.

Supporters of FOCA say that the act was introduced into Congress to counter-act the Supreme Court rulings in two cases, Gonzales v. Planned Parenthood and Gonzales v. Carhart, in which the court upheld vaguely-written bans on Partial Birth Abortion. And that’s it.

[And let’s dispense with the bogus ban on “Partial Birth Abortion” right now. Such acts only ban a method of third-trimester abortion (and the safest one at that) not third-trimester abortion itself. The net effect then is not to save any babies, only to make the procedure more dangerous.]

Detractors of FOCA list all the dire consequences that you have outlined and many more besides.

I wasn’t sure what to think until I read what Doug Kmiec, who has an impeccable pro-life record, said about it in an interview. It is his claim that Congress lacks authority to redefine constitutional rights and liberties and thus does not have the power to overturn any state legislation on abortion, nor would FOCA bar Congress from renewing the Hyde Amendment (which needs to be renewed annually).

I think Kmiec knows what he is talking about and I trust him.

Just the same, I'd rather Obama didn't sign it ...

xaipe said...

Maybe Catholic health care ministries would do better service and address greater needs in our society today by divesting themselves of immense institutions and creating small, low-cost clinics where the many uninsured and underinsured could find medical attention before their conditions require hospitalization. It could mean a return to the origins of health care ministry.
At any rate, bravo to the bishops!

Anonymous said...

Mentioning certain proceedings in the Catholic Church is all well-and-good, but a particular 'slant' probably should incorporate some 'hard facts' such as found in recent compilation of data at the March of Dimes website:

WHITE PLAINS, N.Y., NOV. 12, 2008 – The United States is failing hundreds of thousands of its youngest citizens on the day they are born, according to the March of Dimes.

In the first of what will be an annual Premature Birth Report Card, the nation received a “D” and not a single state earned an “A,” when the March of Dimes compared actual preterm birth rates to the national Healthy People 2010 objective.

The only state to earn a “B” was Vermont. Eight others earned a “C,” 23 states earned a “D,” and 18 states plus Puerto Rico and the District of Columbia got failing grades of “F.” [Mississippi's score was "F", at 18.8% and Puerto Rico was lower at 19.7%.]

“It is unacceptable that our nation is failing so many preterm babies,” said Dr. Jennifer L. Howse, president of the March of Dimes. “We are determined to find and implement solutions to prevent preterm birth, based on research, best clinical practices and improved education for moms.”

November 12 marks[ed] the nation’s 6th Annual Prematurity Awareness Day, a time when the March of Dimes mobilizes volunteers and parents to draw attention to premature birth (birth before 37 weeks gestation), which affects more than 530,000 babies each year in the United States. Premature birth is the leading cause of newborn death and a major cause of lifelong disability.

Please, pray for more education to make such RC pre-defined choices in the current and upcoming milieu.

Anonymous said...

A few years ago, a young woman I know suffered severe pre-enclampsia. Her child was delivered well ahead of term, and was at grave risk (and ended up going through an operation or two). An associate of hers, a young mother from Europe, was appalled at this. In her country, it would have been unheard of to go to such lengths for a child born that early: the family would have resigned themselves to the loss of the baby, something our culture cannot even fathom.
The sadly high rate of death of pre-term infants is not a result of a lack of access to abortion, or even to health care! It is a consequence of our technological ability to forestall miscarriages, and the efforts to save the lives of infants who in other nations are allowed to die a natural death. It is the flip side of advances in neonatal medical science.

Interestingly, among the causes of birth complications is in vitro fertilization.
And that is the technological attempt to restore fertility to couples who have been unable to conceive a child.
And infertility is slowly but surely being linked to estrogen pollution, one of the sources of which is the urine of millions of women taking birth control pills.

Frankly, the Catholic Church has a very worthwhile contribution to make to this whole scenario.

Anonymous said...

Agreed. The Catholic Church has a very worthwhile (and ethically responsible) contribution to make. A single set 'slant' does not make for an all-encompassing stance as the matter is not cut-and-dried...not nearly as clear as opinions issued in various soundbites seem to suggest.

Anonymous said...

Sister, low-cost clinics are fine but where will patients go for trauma care, cancer surgery and radiation, deliveries, etc.

In many communities (unlike Chicago), a Catholic hospital is the only local provider of inpatient services.


xaipe said...

Good point, Maureen. I've lived in major cities all my life and have no clue about the situation outside of metropolitan areas.