The Honorable Kay Hagan
B40A Dirksen Senate Office Building,
District of Columbia 20510-3301
310 New Bern Avenue, Suite 122
Raleigh, North Carolina 27601
Re: Freedom of Choice Act (FOCA) S1173
Dear Senator Hagan:
Congratulations on being sworn in as part of the 111th Congress of the United States. As one of our Senators from North Carolina, I am sure you’ll do a fine job of trying to balance all the varied interests and concerns of this wonderful State.
One of the first issues you will face as our new Senator is the Freedom of Choice Act, referenced above. Our President-elect, Mr. Obama, has promised that enacting this bill will be his #1 priority upon taking over the Oval Office in less than two weeks.
I have always voted pro-life, Ms. Hagan, believing that abortion is intrinsically evil and a scourge upon civilized society; however, I really do believe that I would have some reservations about this bill even if I were pro-choice. It is about these that I write to you tonight.
Section 4 of the Bill specifies a prohibition of interference with “reproductive health care,” specifically abortion; however, the term “interference” is not defined, and could on its own encompass such a liberal interpretation that it could result in the overturning of a number of very reasonable and sensible state laws currently governing abortion: for example, who may perform these procedures (licensed MDs) and where (a hospital or regulated clinic).
I also have concerns over the issue of informed consent, which could also be construed as an attempt to “interfere” with “reproductive health care” – a misnomer if ever there was one. It seems to me to be a serious insult to women to “protect” them from knowledge about the state of their pregnancies, the stage of development of the babies they carry, and full understanding of the risks of the procedure. If I have to acknowledge that having my ears pierced could result in an infection which, left untreated or poorly treated, could ostensibly lead to serious illness or even death, then surely such an invasive procedure as therapeutic abortion warrants no less information for the woman submitting her body to the abortionist’s implements.
Women are stronger, and wiser, than this industry gives us credit for, Ms. Hagan. Please do not add to the insults Planned Parenthood and other industry figures promote as “health care” by voting for a bill which takes into so little account that intelligence and value of women’s minds and hearts.
Moreover, alluding back to Roe v. Wade, in the Bill’s Findings (Section 2) the issue of viability is not addressed nor clarified. Whereas in 1973 a benchmark of five pounds was the standard for an indicator of fetal well-being or viability, now it is increasingly common for infants born prematurely at less than 20 weeks’ gestation and weighing under one pound to be saved. These technologies, which were unimaginable 35 years ago, have revolutionized maternal-child care, and should be given adequate consideration in discussing such a grave issue as therapeutic abortion.
These are among the issues which Senator Boxer and her co-sponsors on this bill have failed to give satisfactory consideration. I urge you to oppose the Freedom of Choice Act.
I was raised Southern Democrat, but I do vote pro-life. Excited as I am to see a woman in the Senate for our State, I will be counting your performance on this one issue very heavily as I anticipate the next General Election.
Be assured of my very best wishes for your success in Washington on our behalf.