01 May 2007

Freedom of Choice Act

Congress's latest attempt to protect abortion virtually wipes out the effect of Gonzalez v. Carhart (the recent Supreme Court decision upholding the federal ban on partial birth abortion). It's called the Freedom of Choice Act, introduced into both the House and the Senate, and among its provisions is the following:
A government may not--

(1) deny or interfere with a woman's right to choose--

(A) to bear a child;

(B) to terminate a pregnancy prior to viability; or

(C) to terminate a pregnancy after viability where termination is necessary to protect the life or health of the woman; or

(2) discriminate against the exercise of the rights set forth in paragraph (1) in the regulation or provision of benefits, facilities, services, or information.
This bill, if passed, could go much farther than any past Supreme Court decision protecting abortion, because it nullifies practically all federal and state interference with a woman's choice to abort. Planned Parenthood itself asserts that
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 and targeted and medically unnecessary regulations. As a result, women will be freed from improper governmental interference 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.
(Emphasis added)

No wonder National Right to Life is calling this the Freedom for Partial-Birth Abortionists Act. The Senate Bill is supported by Senators Hillary Clinton, Charles Schumer, Dianne Feinstein, Barbara Boxer, Joe Lieberman, and other Democrats.