I’ve been wanting to look at this for some time. Hard to keep my own notes brief; PP (Planned Parenthood) has a strongly vested interested in the passage of FOCA, and the information they provide the public is slanted to misrepresent the issues at hand. Below is the first part of my examination of Planned Parenthood’s Questions and Answers about FOCA. Significant portions will be bolded, and my comments in red– Laura
Questions & Answers about FOCA
The federal Freedom of Choice Act would prevent the government from discriminating against a woman on the basis of her reproductive decisions, about using birth control, having a child, or terminating a pregnancy. The implication here is that any restriction of abortion is a form of discrimination. Senator Barbara Boxer (D-CA) and Representative Jerrold Nadler (D-NY) introduced this landmark piece of legislation as the nation marks the 31st anniversary of the U.S. Supreme Court’s monumental 1973 decision in Roe v. Wade.
Q. If passed, how would FOCA affect women’s reproductive freedom?
A. Once passed, FOCA will protect a woman’s right to choose See note below. by federal statute. This means that if our worst fear comes to pass and a newly constituted anti-choice Supreme Court overrules Roe v. Wade, women in the United States will have the protection of federal law In other words, FOCA will supercede all other abortion laws, past and future. in the exercise of their right to choose. In addition, FOCA would immediately restore reproductive freedom for the millions of American women who already face interference with their right to choose as a result of onerous state and federal restrictions thus overriding states’ rights. FOCA will supercede anti-choice laws that restrict the right to choose, including laws that prohibit the public funding of abortions for poor women or counseling and referrals for abortions Additionally, FOCA will prohibit onerous restrictions on a woman’s right to choose, such as mandated delays elective surgeries have waiting periods. Why must abortion be different? and targeted and medically unnecessary regulations. As a result, women will be freed from improper governmental interference which Planned Parenthood identifies as any limitation on abortion access with their right to choose a pre-viability abortion. Women who require a post-viability abortion in order to preserve their lives or health will also be protected by FOCA. (Viability, the time at which a fetus is capable of sustained survival outside the womb, is determined on a case by case basis and cannot legally be established as occurring at a particular time for all women.) Which is nonsense. See Note below. FOCA applies to measures enacted or implemented before, on, or after the date of its enactment. FOCA will undo existing abortion law and effectively prevent any restrictive law from enactment in future.
NOTE: Did you see that in one question/answer combination, the phrase “right to choose” is used six times? According to Michael Moses, Counsel for the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, there is no fundamental “right to choose.” Roe v. Wade as re-interpreted in 1992, Planned Parenthood v. Casey; SCOTUS ruled that not all government interference in the issue of abortion is unwarranted.
This repetition, then, is an example of the old adage, repeat something often enough and people start to believe it is true. PP wants the general population to believe that the fundamental “right to choose” has become part of the fabric of our society. It has not.
NOTE 2: As has been pointed out in this blog previously, the issues of viability and of life and health of the mother have undergone such radical transformation under recently-developed technologies that they are very nearly moot. If a woman can survive the stresses of abortion to her body, then she can very likely survive term childbirth.
“Life and health of the mother” has been a favorite loophole for Planned Parenthood ever since Margaret Sanger, operating her American Birth Control League, found this loophole to avoid arrest and provide diaphragms, imported from Holland, to clients. It’s a loophole big enough to drive an aircraft carrier through – and Planned Parenthood does exactly that.
NOTE 3: Those “onerous” laws Planned Parenthood complains about are actually laws with protect the life and health of both mother and baby. Waiting periods allow a woman to process information and to make a rational, rather than emotional decision about her future. However, Planned Parenthood would lose a lot of business if women were allowed or required a period of reflection before undergoing abortion; the women would change their minds.
Other issues covered by current laws include parental notification for minors seeking abortion, a truly informed consent, regulations mandating where abortions can be performed and by whom, etc. These are reasonable and responsible regulations – but Planned Parenthood would have you think they are victimizing and discriminating against women, and inherently wrong.