I somehow missed some pretty important news back in the first part of November (ok, so me missing important news is NOT new, I gotcha, listen anyway). Roman Catholic bishops meeting in Baltimore on November 11, declared that they would close their hospitals rather than comply with the FOCA (the Freedom of Choice Act) if it was passed. Obama had declared (to the delighted members of Planned Parenthood) that he would sign the bill as soon as it landed on top of his big shiny oval office desk (“The first thing I’d do as president is, is sign the Freedom of Choice Act. That’s the first thing I’d do.”).
So, what’s the FOCA? Melinda Henneberger reports:
Though it’s often referred to as a mere codification of Roe, FOCA, as currently drafted, actually goes well beyond that: According to the Senate sponsor of the bill, Barbara Boxer, in a statement on her Web site, FOCA would nullify all existing laws and regulations that limit abortion in any way, up to the time of fetal viability. Laws requiring parental notification and informed consent would be tossed out. While there is strenuous debate among legal experts on the matter, many believe the act would invalidate the freedom-of-conscience laws on the books in 46 states. These are the laws that allow Catholic hospitals and health providers that receive public funds through Medicaid and Medicare to opt out of performing abortions.
Without public funding, the Roman Catholic hospitals would not be able to remain open. What’s the solution? The Bishops said that if the FOCA passed, rather than submit to having to perform abortions, they would close the hospitals. NOTE: They wouldn’t sell these institutions, they would close them. To do otherwise, said the bishops, would constitute “material cooperation with an intrinsic evil.”
Now, THAT’S how Christians should respond to laws which force us to participate in evil. If the FOCA passes and if this requires all hospitals to perform abortions, what will all the Baptist and Presbyterian hospitals do?
[thanks to Mark Horne for pointing me to this]