FOCA (or "Freedom of Choice Act") is a bill co-sponored by Barack Obama,
which would make partial birth abortion legal again, and force taxpayers to
pay for abortions. It is the first bill Barack Obama pedged to sign when (and
if) he becomes president.
In elevating abortion to a fundamental right, FOCA poses an undeniable and irreparable danger to common-sense laws supported by a majority of Americans. Among the federal and state laws that FOCA would nullify are:
Informed consent laws
Parental consent and notification laws
Health and safety regulations for abortion clinics
Requirements that licensed physicians perform abortions
Bans on partial-birth abortion
Bans on abortion after viability. FOCA’s apparent attempt to limit post-viability abortions is illusory. Under FOCA, post-viability abortions are expressly permitted to protect the woman’s “health.” Within the context of abortion, “health” has been interpreted so broadly that FOCA would not actually proscribe any abortion before or after viability.
Limits on public funding for elective abortions (thus, making American taxpayers fund a procedure that many find morally objectionable)
Limits on the use of public facilities (such has public hospitals and medical schools at state universities) for abortions
Legal protections for individual healthcare providers who decline to participate in abortions
Legal protections for Catholic and other religiously-affiliated hospitals who, while providing care to millions of poor and uninsured Americans, refuse to allow abortions within their facilities
Notably, pro-abortion groups do not deny FOCA’s draconian impact. For example, Planned Parenthood has explained, “FOCA will supersede 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 and targeted and medically unnecessary regulations.”
Thus, under FOCA (as introduced and supported by Senator Obama and other pro-abortion members of Congress), a 12-year old girl could have a late-term abortion performed on her by an under-qualified non-physician without her parents’ knowledge. The parents would have no opportunity to speak with the abortion provider about their daughter’s medical history, and they would have no opportunity to make arrangements for her follow-up care.
Clearly FOCA will not make abortion safe or rare -- on the contrary, it will actively promote abortion and do nothing to ensure its safety.