Forceful on FOCA

Bishop Paul Loverde of Arlington, Va., had this to say last week about his response if the abortion lobby’s Freedom of Choice Act (FOCA) becomes law:

“I would say, ‘Yeah, I’m not going to close the hospital, you’re going to arrest me, go right ahead. You’ll have to drag me out, go right ahead. I’m not closing this hospital, we will not perform abortions, and you can go take a flying leap.’ ”

The Internet news service CNSNews.com reported Bishop Loverde made those comments to an audience of young adults at a Nov. 25 diocesan discussion about the implications of FOCA. In the video clip that accompanies this post, President-elect Barack Obama promises Planned Parenthood in July 2007 that he will sign FOCA as his first act as president.

FOCA would mandate the removal of virtually all federal, state and local restrictions on abortion.

There are no Catholic hospitals currently open in Bishop Loverde’s Arlington diocese, but his comments were intended to drive home the total opposition of the U.S. bishops to any kind of compliance with FOCA.

A number of commentators have suggested since Obama’s election that his pledge to sign FOCA means little. They say there is little chance Congress will pass the legislation, which was first introduced to Congress in 1989, even though the pro-abortion Democratic Party now has strong majorities in both the House of Representatives and Senate.

But 2009 will mark the first time since 1994 when both houses of Congress and the White House are all in Democratic hands. Douglas Johnson, legislative director of National Right to Life Committee, has warned this circumstance could embolden Democratic leaders to make a determined bid to pass FOCA.

Only time will tell if there will be a strong push for FOCA in the next Congress. But if Congressional Dems do decide to let it languish instead, the determined opposition of Church leaders like Bishop Loverde and other U.S. bishops will deserve a lion’s share of the credit.

— Tom McFeely

Representing the Holy Spirit that descended “like a dove” and hovered over Jesus when he was baptized.

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