Be Careful Who You Vote For – You could be supporting evil legislation

Lurking in the background of this election are two crucial pieces of legislation — the “Freedom of Choice Act” (“FOCA”) in Congress, and the “Reproductive Health and Privacy Promotion Act” (RHAPP) in the New York State Legislature.

These two bills are substantially the same, and would have devastating effects on our society.

I’m not mincing words here — these bills are evil.

The supporters of FOCA and RHAPP claim falsely that they would only enact the provisions of Roe v. Wade into statutory law. Even though that would be awful enough, the bills are actually much, much worse. They would erase every reasonable regulation of abortion that has been enacted in the United States for the last 35 years, and could gravely endanger our religious liberties.

FOCA and RHAPP would declare abortion to be a “fundamental right”, and would ban any “discrimination” against that right. This means that it would be virtually impossible to regulate or restrict abortion in any way, at any time in pregnancy. Here are the kinds of laws that would be impossible to pass, if FOCA or RHAPP becomes law:

  • The partial birth abortion ban
  • Restrictions on public funding for abortions (under current federal law, the Medicaid program only pays for abortions if it was the result of rape or incest, or if the mother’s life is at risk; these bills would require Medicaid paying for all abortions, regardless of the reason)
  • Parental notification laws that require some parental involvement if a minor is seeking an abortion
  • Informed consent laws that require the doctor to reveal all the side effects of abortion (including psychological effects) and the facts of fetal development
  • Bans or restrictions on late-term abortions
  • Bans on abortions performed for sex selection or to kill handicapped children
  • Requirements that a doctor be available to treat the child if it survives an abortion
    Requirements that the mother be shown a sonogram before the abortion
    Bans on non-doctors performing abortions
    The “Mexico City Policy”, which bans aid to international organizations that promote abortion
  • In addition, FOCA or RHAPP would undermine or eliminate the conscience protections in law that protect religious liberties. Church-owned hospitals, social service agencies, and schools could be required to promote, perform, or refer for abortions. Just think about that — our schools could be required to help pregnant girls to get an abortion, or risk being sued for “discrimination”. And the licenses of doctors, nurses, and other professionals could be at risk if they don’t promote, perform or refer for abortions.

    For more information about FOCA, please visit the US Bishops’ Conference website.

    For more information about RHAPP, please visit the NYS Catholic Conference website here and here.

    These bills are extreme, and extremely evil. No Christian can call himself a true disciple of Christ if he supports laws like FOCA or RHAPP. This is the clear teaching of our Church.

    As Christians, we should do all within our power to resist this kind of evil. As St. Paul says, “”Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good” (Rom. 12:21). This includes how we vote on Election Day.

    Here are the people on the ballot in New York who are on record as co-sponsors of these bills:


  • Candidate for President: Barack Obama
  • Candidates for Congress: Jerrold Nadler (primary sponsor), Gary Ackerman, Yvette Clark, Joseph Crowley, Eliot Engel, Nita Lowey, Carolyn Maloney, Carolyn McCarthy, Charles Rangel, Edolphus Towns, Nydia Velazquez
  • (Note: Both Senators from New York, Hillary Clinton and Charles Schumer, co-sponsor FOCA, but neither is running for re-election this year)

  • Candidates for State Senate: Andrea Stewart-Cousins (primary sponsor), Eric Adams, Neil Breslin, Thomas Duane, Ruth Hassell-Thompson, Shirley Huntley, Craig Johnson, Liz Krueger, Valmanette Montgomery, Kevin Parker, Bill Perkins, Diane Savino, Eric Schneiderman, Jose Serrano, Malcolm Smith, Toby Ann Stavisky, Antoine Thompson
  • (Note: the bill has not yet been introduced in the Assembly, so there are no official co-sponsors of the bill in that house)
  • Let me tell you where my conscience stands on this. But before I do that, here’s the official disclaimer: as the sidebar to this blog already says, but I will repeat it here, this is my personal opinion, and is not the official position of the Archdiocese. Here’s the personal disclaimer: I’m going to tell you the judgment of my conscience, but I can’t judge anything about the state of anybody else’s; that’s up to God.

    Having said all that, here goes:

    Given the state of my conscience, if I were to vote for any supporter of “abortion rights”, especially the people who are co-sponsors of FOCA or RHAPP, I believe that I would be committing a mortal sin. It would mean that I was turning a blind eye to the evil of abortion, and I would be utterly failing the acid test of Christian discipleship — love thy neighbor.

    I cannot imagine a grave enough moral reason that could justify me supporting someone who can sponsor a bill like FOCA or RHAPP. I can’t see any other issue that could possibly outweigh something like this.

    How could I face Jesus with that on my soul?

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