FOCA: An Attempt to End Debate Over Abortion (11/08)

The Freedom of Choice Act: Radical Attempt to Prematurely End Debate Over Abortion 1 Denise M. Burke AUL Vice President of Legal Affairs November 2008 Nearly two years ago, the public debate over abortion was irrevocably altered. In the landmark Gonzales v. Carhart decision, the U.S. Supreme Court upheld the federal ban on partial-birth abortion and, more importantly, abdicated, at least in part, its role as the “National Abortion Control Board.” In its decision, the Court signaled an increasing willingness to blunt attempts by abortion extremists to use the federal courts to unilaterally impose their radical agenda. The immediate reaction of activists and some members of Congress confirmed this critical shift. Abortion advocates, including some members of Congress, hastily recycled the hyperbolic rhetoric of the 1970s. In one public statement after another, they condemned the decision and the Court, predicting–like modern-day Chicken Littles–that the outlawing of abortion was at hand and that women were about to be relegated to “second-class” status. For example, then-Presidential candidate Barack Obama stated, “I am extremely concerned that this ruling will embolden state legislatures to enact further measures to restrict a woman’s right to choose, and that the conservative Supreme Court justices will look for other opportunities to erode Roe v. Wade, which is established federal law and a matter of equal rights for women.” Recognizing that the federal courts would no longer be a reliable and viable tool for actualizing their demands for unlimited and unregulated abortion, abortion supporters began to look elsewhere for the means to advance their radical agenda. In late April 2007, Obama along with Senator Hillary Clinton and others,...

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...

FOCA: The Freedom of Choice Act (2008)

The Freedom of Choice Act: Endangering Women and Silencing the Voices of Everyday Americans By Denise M. Burke AUL Vice President & Legal Director June 2008 “The first thing I will do as President is sign the Freedom of Choice Act.” — Senator and Presidential Candidate Barack Obama July 17, 2007, Address to the Planned Parenthood Action Fund   In the days after the U.S. Supreme Court’s historic decision in Gonzales v. Carhart, upholding the federal ban on partial-birth abortion, Senator Barack Obama, along with Senator Hillary Clinton and others, introduced the federal Freedom of Choice Act, a radical attempt to enshrine abortion-on-demand into American law, to sweep aside existing laws that the majority of Americans support — such as requirements that licensed physicians perform abortions, fully-informed consent, and parental involvement — and to prevent states from enacting similar protective measures in the future. More importantly, the Freedom of Choice Act is a cynical attempt to prematurely end the debate over abortion and declare “victory” in the face of mounting evidence that (a) the American public does not support the vast majority of abortions being performed in the U.S. each year and (b) abortion has a substantial negative impact on women. Thirty-five years after Roe, abortion supporters, like Senator Obama, are dismayed that abortion remains a divisive issue and that their radical agenda has not been submissively accepted by the American public. Rather than confronting legitimate issues concerning the availability and safety of abortion, they choose to blatantly ignore the concerns and interests of everyday Americans, as well as the growing evidence that abortion hurts women. In his address...

Freedom of Choice Act, New Version (FOCA) (2/04)

Pro-abortion Senator Boxer introduced a new version of the Freedom of Choice Act which, if enacted, would invalidate any “statute, ordinance, regulation, administrative order, decision, policy, practice or any other action” of any federal, state or local gov’t that would “deny or interfere with” a woman’s right to abortion. It would establish “the absolute right to choose”. FOCA would invalidate: 1. gov’t restrictions on abortion funding; 2. prohibition of abortion in public hospitals; 3. women’s “right to know” laws [Boxer called these “anti-choice propaganda lectures”];  4. rights of conscience; and 5. prohibition of non-physicians from performing abortions. The bill would also “make it illegal for anyone or action that would discriminate against abortion”. It is endorsed by NARAL, NOW, Planned Parenthood, etc. [Nat’l Right to Life, 2/04; HLA Action News, Spring...