The text of the proposed FOCA statues from the last congress can be found at the US Congress’ official site: http://frwebgate.access.gpo.gov/cgi-bin/getdoc.cgi?dbname=110_cong_bills&docid=f:s1173is.txt.pdf
I started to do an analysis of the proposed FOCA statute from the last congress. However my layman’s reading doesn’t begin to compare to these.
The Family Research Council prepared this summary comparing the proposed federal FOCA to the state of Maryland’s existing regulation. Maryland’s abortion rates have increased at a time when the national rates are declining.
Also the legal staff at Americans United for Life have prepared an excellent summary. Its at http://www.aul.org/FOCA
See http://www.usccb.org/ the official site of the USCCB – the US Conference of Catholic Bishops. There are lots of superb references and documents. This is a good starting point of referral to Catholic teaching. This includes many documents concerning FOCA http://www.usccb.org/prolife/issues/FOCA/.
In NC, the offices of the Dioceses of Charlotte and Raleigh have a website which is a cooperative effort to keep NC Catholics apprised. Its www.catholicvoicenc.org
See also our personal take on How to Debate. It could be subtitled “Debate your Christian values using Secular Language to Win More People to the Argument.”
Various anti-abortion sites have lots of good information. We consider the ones we’ve posted to be excellent.
Volunteer to help moms in crisis. That means in big ways but in medium sized ways too. Volunteer at a Birthright center or at a crisis pregnancy hotline. Again we’ve posted some excellent ones. As we say in our About Us introduction: Then don’t send them your money; GO THERE (but do take your checkbook just in case they’re tight this month) and volunteer your time answering the phones, giving hugs, tutoring and diapering. You’ll benefit in so many ways you’ll forget that you are there to help them.
Show up in Washington DC for the March for Life or for your local March. (See Laura’s post here.)
Show up at your local Church’s prolife prayer group. (Your church doesn’t don’t have one? Talk to some friends; start one!)
Do whatever you can to help moms and families. Any church service organization that feeds the poor, ministers to shut-ins, mentors or catechizes children, or otherwise serves God’s people is Pro-Life. If its not already happening, organize it.
Talk and Debate.
Influence decision makers. Support your elected officials who agree about the sanctity of life. Work with them to help where you agree and to see if you can inform and persuade them where you disagree. For your elected officials are and how to contact them see http://www.frc.org/contact-elected-officials.
At this site http://capwiz.com/frc/megavote/ you can sign up for a weekly email informing you of the votes in the US congress by your senators and representative.
Here is Laura’s post on how to send an email or a letter to your Senators and the Representative for your district.
Go to http://change.gov/open_government/entry/advancing_reproductive_rights_and_health_in_a_new_administration. Note the long debate here about the FOCA. Much of the posting has turned to our favor but some is in language that will not convince. (See How to Debate). Look for posts that state a specific false pro abortion argument; respond to it in a way that adds to the conversation.
Get out to the web. See what people are writing about correctly or incorrectly. Add what you can where you can.
Write an email to everyone on your “funny email address list” and send them a link to this site or some other site. If you’re willing to send them an email listing the “10 sexiest people of 2008” maybe you could (should) be willing to send them a note that says: “Hey I’m looking at this website and I see it as an important debate for people of faith to communicate to the Obama Administration” – Yeah, some of them will think you’re weird and some will be annoyed, but that just demonstrates the need. If they knew the ramifications of this, they’d thank you and forward you more information.
Send the same kind of email to your family list? To your Christmas ecard list? To other fun interesting people you know? To the weblog at your local newspaper (especially if it’s a liberal rag that might not have any interest in this kind of thing otherwise.)
Speak up graciously in public the next time you hear some anti-life comments – especially those thrown out as if they were the Truth. Say something like, “I know a bit about (FOCA, adoption, how abortion hurts women, True Feminism, etc.) and I don’t agree with you. I don’t think what you just said reflects what most Americans are thinking and I’d be willing to talk about it sometime if you’d like.”
See what we wrote about prayer at How to Debate.
Of most importance before all of this is do not surrender prayer; it will certainly do much more for this fight than our small words. We all know this, but I repeat it for my benefit and perhaps yours. PRAYER is our first tool, and web logging and dialog are only a supporting role. Already you and I are lifting up these issues and these decision makers in prayer. If you’re reading this and writing on a blog but haven’t spent at least 15 uninterrupted minutes (or 30 or 60 or 90!) in prayer in the last 24 hours then you are wasting your time! Worse, you’re wasting your best weapon in this fight. You’re not preparing properly for this work.