Cardinal Justin Rigali, chairman of the U.S. bishops’ Committee on Pro-Life Activities, has asked the U.S. Congress not to enact proposed “Freedom of Choice” legislation.

In a Sept. 19 letter to all members of Congress, Cardinal Rigali said the “Freedom of Choice Act” or “FOCA” bills now before Congress “would deprive the American people in all 50 states of the freedom they now have to enact modest restraints and regulations on the abortion industry.”

Along with Cardinal Rigali’s letter, the bishops’ conference has released a detailed analysis of the adverse legal impact of the FOCA legislation.

“FOCA would coerce all Americans into subsidizing and promoting abortion with their tax dollars,” said Cardinal Rigali. “And FOCA would counteract any and all sincere efforts by government to reduce abortions in our country.”

Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama has promised to sign the FOCA legislation if he wins the November election.

According to Cardinal Rigali, “there is one thing absolutely everyone should be able to agree on: We can’t reduce abortions by promoting abortion…. No one who sponsors or supports legislation like FOCA can credibly claim to be part of a good-faith discussion on how to reduce abortions.”

— Tom McFeely