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:
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:
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?