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FOCA uncampaign with key story

Amid the uproar over the still-unintroduced Freedom of Choice Act (FOCA), one news story occasions almost as much refutation as the Time magazine article describing a fear-provoking, Catholic-led campaign against nonexistent legislation. That story had been largely ignored since its publication on Jan. 26, until cited by Time

At Catholics in Alliance for the Good, the story says [their summary]:

Internet rumors to the contrary, no Catholic hospital in the United States is in danger of closing because of the Freedom of Choice Act. As a matter of fact, the Freedom of Choice Act died with the 110th Congress and, a week after the inauguration of President Barack Obama, has not been reintroduced. But that hasn’t kept misleading e-mails from flying around the Internet, warning of the dire consequences if Obama signs FOCA into law and promoting a “FOCA novena” in the days leading up to Inauguration Day. Sister Carol Keehan, a Daughter of Charity who is CHA president and CEO, was equally sure that FOCA poses no threat to Catholic hospitals or to the conscience rights of those who work there.

Time’s Amy Sullivan didn’t write a perfect article, but the current campaign is still against legislation which has not been introduced, is unlikely to pass if introduced and may do far less harm to opponents’ interests than they suggest.

Perhaps the purpose of current efforts is to cut a firebreak. That’s a part of ordinary American political life, charges and counter-charges and all.

On abortion rights issues like this one, with a pro-choice president in office, expect more intensity. Not less.

February 20, 2009 - Posted by | Catholic, Law, Religion | , ,

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