Legislation

FOCA — Would It Increase U.S. Abortions?

Freedom of Choice Act

…If enacted, FOCA will reverse decades of progress in reducing the annual toll of abortions in the United States, a result no one should welcome regardless of his or her feelings about “choice.”

How can we be certain that abortions will increase under FOCA?

A recent study by Dr. Michael J. New, assistantprofessor of political science at the University of Alabama, proves the effectiveness of parental involvement laws in reducing minors’ abortion rates.

Examining data for minor girls in all 50 states from 1989 to 1999, Dr. New found that minors’ abortion rates fall by an average of 13.6% following enactment of a state parental involvement law.

The more protective the law, the greater is the decline in the abortion rate.

Laws, for example, that require the consent (rather than simply notification) of one parent reduce the abortion rate by an average of 19%. Laws requiring the notification or consent of both parents yield an average 31% reduction in minors’ abortions.

Such reasonable regulations would be invalidated, and these gains reversed, by FOCA.

Using this and earlier research by Dr. New on the effect of state abortion regulations, Matt Bowman, an attorney with the Alliance Defense Fund, calculated the increased number of abortions that could be expected annually if FOCA became law and invalidated three common types of state abortion laws: parental involvement, informed consent, and laws restricting state funding of abortions.

Mr. Bowman arrived at a figure of 125,000 additional abortions annually due to FOCA.

Even NARAL has acknowledged that states providing Medicaid funding for abortion have much higher abortion rates among Medicaid-eligible women than states which do not provide such funding.

The National Committee for a Human Life Amendment (NCHLA) issued a Legislative Action Alert on September 24 that can be downloaded in English and Spanish from www.nchla.org/actiondisplay.asp?ID=266.

The current House and Senate versions of FOCA, along with names of co-sponsors, can also be found on NCHLA’s site.

See www.nchla.org/issues.asp?ID=50 for all the FOCA-related material.

FOCA cannot be stopped without your help.

[Sept-Oct 2008, Life Insight, http://www.usccb.org/prolife/publicat/lifeinsight/li_septoct08.pdf]