February 19th, 2009
01:56 PM ET

The Catholic Crusade against a mythical abortion bill

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Amy Sullivan

The U.S. Catholic Church's crusade against the Freedom of Choice Act (FOCA) has all the hallmarks of a well-oiled lobbying campaign. A national postcard campaign is flooding the White House and congressional offices with messages opposing FOCA, and Catholic bishops have made defeating the abortion rights legislation a top priority. In the most recent effort to stop the bill, Cardinal Justin Rigali of Philadelphia sent a letter to every member of Congress imploring them to "please oppose FOCA."

There is only one hitch. Congress isn't about to pass the Freedom of Choice Act — because no such bill has been introduced in the current Congress.

At a time when the United States is gripped by economic uncertainty and faces serious challenges in hot spots around the globe, some American Catholics are finding it both curious and troubling that their church has launched a major campaign against a piece of legislation that doesn't exist and wouldn't have much chance of becoming law even if it did. To many critics, it feels like the legislative equivalent of the dog that didn't bark.


Filed under: 360° Radar • Raw Politics
soundoff (3 Responses)
  1. Michael C. McHugh

    I think the Catholic Church has to stop re-fighting the battles of the Culture Wars of the 1960s-90s, and focus on the grim realities of today–the realities of system failure. These cultural issues are worn out, and as the economy sinks, people are going to be so focused on sheer survival they won't have the luxury of worrying about them any more.

    February 20, 2009 at 8:44 am |
  2. Janine Wallace

    Cardinal Ratzinger a.k.a Pope Benadict protected priests who sexually molested children. How can he speak of morals?

    February 19, 2009 at 10:16 pm |
  3. Tammy, Berwick, LA

    I received something at work about this act. It just seemed to be more Roman Catholic drama. Don't get me wrong. I am very pro-life. I think abortion is murder. I have spent too many hours trying to help piece together men and women whose lives were destroyed because they aborted their children or weren't able to stop their partners from aborting their children. I cannot rationalize the death of a life that hasn't had a chance to have a chance. But, this does unfortunately make those of us who support human life from conception to the grave look like a bunch of over zealous uninformed radicals. And we aren't for the most part. We're simply people who want everyone to have a shot at this amazing ride called life. Sadly, actions like this campaign do more to harm the pro-life movement than help it in the general population. Ultimately the lives we are trying to save will be the ones lost due to our own misinformation.

    February 19, 2009 at 6:35 pm |