Democrat to Introduce Freedom of Choice Act ‘Sooner Rather Than Later’

March 10, 2009 - 8:13 AM
FOCA would eliminate state and federal restrictions on abortion, including waiting periods, parental consent, and the ban on partial-birth abortion.

Rep. Jerrold Nadler has twice sponsored legislation lifting restrictions on abortion. (Photo from Nadler's Web site)

(CNSNews.com) – A spokesman for Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y.) said that while re-introducing the Freedom of Choice Act (FOCA) during the 111th Congress isn’t on his “immediate agenda,” the congressman does plan to do so “sooner rather than later.”
 
“It’s not going to be (re-introduced) years down the road,” Ilan Kayatsky told CNSNews.com.
 
He said the bill has not been drafted yet, but it most likely would resemble the original bill that Nadler introduced in the 108th and 110th Congresses. “(The bill) could be altered in very minor ways,” Kayatsky said. “But overall it would be the same bill.”
 
FOCA, which was sponsored twice in the Senate by Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.), would eliminate state and federal restrictions on abortion, including waiting periods, parental consent, and the ban on partial-birth abortion.
 
President Barack Obama, in a campaign speech to Planned Parenthood Federation of America, said signing the bill into law would be “the first thing I’d do as president.”
 
A struggling economy, increasing unemployment and wars in Afghanistan and Iraq apparently have prevented Obama from acting on his campaign promise to Planned Parenthood so far, but pro-life advocates are bracing themselves for the fight to keep FOCA from becoming law.

“The abortion industry already handsomely rewards its supporters in Congress with millions of dollars in campaign donations,” Tom McClusky, vice president of governmental affairs with the Family Research Council, wrote about FOCA on the FRC’s Web site.
 
“In return, enactment of the Freedom of Choice Act by a pro-abortion Congress (which we currently have) and a pro-abortion President would lead to the biggest payoff in history for those who profit from abortions.”

McClusky called it ironic that the bill would “remove any concept of ‘choice’” in the abortion debate: Federal and state governments would lose “the power to decide which legislative path they wish to pursue -- one of promoting abortion or promoting life,” McClusky said.
 
The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops has launched both a postcard campaign and an email campaign, urging members of Congress to maintain pro-life policies and to oppose the federal funding and promotion of abortion.
 
The e-mails specifically urge senators and representative to "please oppose FOCA or any similar measure" and "retain existing laws against funding and promotion of abortion."