Bishop of Santa Rosa
urges Catholics to take action against "˜Freedom of Choice Act"
following is the text of a letter issued by Bishop Daniel F. Walsh:
My Dear People,
I wish to share my concerns about legislation in the Congress of the United
States entitled the Freedom of Choice Act or FOCA. This law if passed will
be the most radical abortion legislation in the history of our country. In
allowing and promoting abortion, FOCA goes far beyond the Supreme Court's
deadly decision in Roe v. Wade in 1973.
FOCA states that every woman has a "fundamental right" to have an abortion
and no government (federal, state, or local) may "deny" or "interfere with"
this so called right. Moreover, no government may "discriminate" against the
exercise of this right when regulating or providing "benefits, facilities,
services, or information" to the public. In other words, abortion may not be
treated differently from live birth.
FOCA will invalidate laws to protect a woman from unsafe abortion clinics
and to ensure that she is informed about abortion. FOCA will require
taxpayers to pay for abortions. FOCA will require states to allow
"partial-birth" and other late-term abortions. FOCA will bar laws protecting
a right of conscientious objection to abortion. Doctors, nurses, medical
personnel and hospitals may be forced to perform abortions against their
personally held moral principles. Finally FOCA will deny parents an
opportunity to be involved in their minor daughter's abortion decision in
those states that have such laws.
I believe it is incumbent on all of us who are Catholic citizens to let our
representatives know of our concerns about FOCA so that a bad and harmful
law will not be passed. You can sign a postcard, write a thoughtful letter,
make a phone call, send an e-mail, meet with your Representatives and
Senators' staff so that the dangerous extremes in this law might be
As Catholic citizens we must speak and act for the common good. Allowing
such a law to be enacted would open the doors wide to a greater number of
abortions in our country, threaten the rights of conscience for medical
personnel, and divide our country further on this issue. I believe all
Americans want to see fewer abortions in our country. FOCA would have the
We as a country should and must rather give support to all women who are
pregnant and in need of help so that abortion will not be seen to be the
only solution to a difficult personal problem. Taking the life of another
human being is never a solution to any problem.
As the new Administration and the new Congress begin their work, we must let
our voices be heard so that the common good will be realized for the good of
all our citizens and people throughout the world.
Assuring you of my prayers, I am Your Brother and Servant in the Lord,
Most Reverend Daniel F. Walsh
Bishop of Santa Rosa