Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Freedom of Choice Act: "With Obama, It Really Is a Vote for Abortion" [UPDATED]

(Hat tip: Feddie)

Policraticus has an excellent post on Obama's support for the so-called "Freedom of Choice Act":

... one thing that I can not and will not ignore is the more direct power the president has to codify certain abortion provisions. This leads me to Barack Obama. Frankly, I do not worry much over his potential Supreme Court appointments on account of what I will now refer to as the Reagan reality (i.e., even the most pro-life of presidents has done a poor job in appointing anti-Roe Justices). What I worry about is what Christopher Blosser tuned us into back in January: The Freedom of Choice Act.

Essentially, FOCA seeks to “prohibit, consistent with Roe v. Wade, the interference by the governmentwith a woman’s right to choose to bear a child or terminate a pregnancy, and for other purposes.” The intent is to codify a woman’s right to abortion in U.S. law and to overrule federal, state, and local restrictions to access to abortion. In a very real and terrifying sense, FOCA is far worse than Roe.

On July 17, 2007, while stumping before the Planned Parenthood Action Fund, Obama openly declared, “Well, the first thing I’d do as president is, is sign the Freedom of Choice Act.” You can watch Obama’s full speech here.

NOW, the ACLU, and Planned Parenthood are champing at the bit over this prospect. They understand what is at stake.

So do I. I cannot vote for Obama in good conscience, and, therefore, I shall not. When a presidential candidate vows to sign into law a measure that rolls back legal restrictions on killing human beings–whether by abortion or capital punishment–I do not become a single-issue voter. Rather, I become a single-issue eliminator, and Barack Obama is eliminated from my list of candidates for whom to vote.
And here's Blackadder's excellent fact-filled response to the resident Obama sycophant's claim that the Freedom of Choice Act would merely "preserve the status quo":

Under current law, Medicaid funding for abortion is prohibited except in cases of rape, incest, or the life of the mother. Under FOCA, Medicaid funding for abortion would be required. That’s not the status quo.

Under current law, abortions are not performed in many hospitals. Under FOCA, abortionists would be able to set up shop in any hospital, and any state or federal law or regulation to the contrary would be voided. That’s not the status quo.

Under current law, states can (and many have) pass informed consent law and/or waiting periods for women seeking abortions. Under FOCA, such laws would all be voided. That’s not the status quo.

Under current law, abortions are not performed on military bases. Under FOCA, they would be. That’s not the status quo.

FOCA does enshrine the right to an abortion in statutory law, making it that much more difficult to stop abortion even if Roe is overturned. That’s bad enough. But FOCA does far more than that. It would, in one fell swoop, wipe out most of the legal gains made by the pro-life movement in the last 30 years.
So, having been proven wrong, how does the "Obamacon" respond?

I did a quick check on your suggestions as to how FOCA does, in fact, change the status quo. You are correct on each count.

Doesn’t this underscore yet another reason why legal remedies are essentially unreliable in the struggle against abortion? The laws and funding are subject to change with each election.

A struggle for hearts and minds leads to more permanent outcomes.
I don't necessarily disagree with that assessment. But how does it follow, then, that, in the meantime, we should vote for the guy who's going to make the situation a lot worse for the legal status of the unborn? Makes absolutely no sense.

UPDATED (18 June)
Oh, looky what we have here in the comments at Vox Nova:

Douglas Kmiec Says:
June 18, 2008 at 12:36 am

Thank you for maintaining a blog site of civil and important and intelligent discussion. I have benefitted from its intelligent disputations in many ways. It is a genuine service to the Church and the common good.

I am firmly in the camp that now sees non-legal paths as the best means of reducing abortion, but I also relish the belief (much denigrated on less thoughtful sites) that it is possible to moderate the legal implications of FOCA by reminding the advocates of choice that true choice includes choosing life and funding one side to the exclusion of the other raises the very equality and discrimination concerns at which the legislation purports to be aimed.

God bless.
Put aside for a moment that Kmiec doesn't seem too bothered by Obama's support for a measure that would actually increase the availability of abortion and wipe out every pro-life gain made over the last 30 years, or that Kmiec has apparently wholeheartedly embraced the "pro-choice" position as one that Catholics can and should support. Let's focus on the fact that he's become stuck on the notion that the the protection of the unborn can be distilled down to merely looking for "non-legal paths as the best means of reducing abortion" - not in conjuction with protecting the unborn via legal means, but instead of. For a rebuttal of that view, see here and here.

Previous Pro Ecclesia posts on this subject:
National Catholic Register: "Obama and Abortion"

The Curt Jester: "Shameless Garment" [UPDATED]

Can a Catholic Vote for Obama?

Obama's Pledge to Planned Parenthood: “I Will Not Yield"

Sen. Moloch H. Obama Celebrates Abortion, Warns Supreme Court Could Reverse Roe

National Catholic Register: "Religious" Democrat Barack Obama Sticks to the Abortion Line

Litmus Test: Democrat Candidates Demand Pro-Abortion Supreme Court Justices

Obama, Clinton Slam Supreme Court on Abortion Ruling

Democratic Candidates for President Give Unanimous Pro-Abortion Views

Reaction to Court’s Abortion Ruling Falls Along Predictable Party Lines

Regular Guy Paul on Barack Obama: "Nice is Different Than Good"

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At 6/17/2008 12:48 PM, Blogger Dale said...

Actually, I responded to that seemingly plausible but dubious "hearts and minds only" argument over at VN.

Agreed that it's a fine post, and that Blackadder did a masterful job of pointing out what a horror FOCA is.

At 6/17/2008 8:56 PM, Blogger Paul, just this guy, you know? said...

A vote for Obama is a vote for abortion. Haven't I been saying that for over a year?


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