"The first thing I'd do as president is sign the Freedom of Choice Act. That's the first thing that I'd do." Senator Barack Obama, speaking to the Planned Parenthood Action Fund, July 17, 2007The Freedom of Choice Act will be perhaps Bambi’s first major public face. He promises to make it his first act as president. See the video below for his position:
Let’s take a look at the operative text of the law:
SEC. 4. INTERFERENCE WITH REPRODUCTIVE HEALTH PROHIBITED.
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(a) Statement of Policy- It is the policy of the United States that every woman has the fundamental right to choose to bear a child, to terminate a pregnancy prior to fetal viability, or to terminate a pregnancy after fetal viability when necessary to protect the life or health of the woman.
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(b) Prohibition of Interference- A government may not--
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(1) deny or interfere with a woman's right to choose--
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(A) to bear a child;
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(B) to terminate a pregnancy prior to viability; or
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(C) to terminate a pregnancy after viability where termination is necessary to protect the life or health of the woman; or
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(2) discriminate against the exercise of the rights set forth in paragraph (1) in the regulation or provision of benefits, facilities, services, or information.
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(c) Civil Action- An individual aggrieved by a violation of this section may obtain appropriate relief (including relief against a government) in a civil action.
There’s a few interesting points to draw from the above.
First, it is NOT the current state of the law that the right to choose is a “fundamental right.” The fundamental right according to Roe v. Wade is the right to privacy. The abortion issue is an application of that right. While a jaundiced view can state that abortion itself was granted “fundamental right” status, to do to so for a medical procedure is ludicrous, and SCOTUS wasted little time correcting that rancid piece of judicial history. To the extent one could torture Roe into a fundamental right, SCOTUS trashed that position in 1992: Reasonable restrictions have been made against that “right” in Planned Parenthood v. Casey without having to invoke the strict scrutiny analysis. The Court used the “undue burden” test in Casey. So much for a “fundamental right.”
Second, a government cannot “interfere” with a woman’s right to choose? That is a rather broad dictate. My dog interferes with me when I walk down my stairs. The weather interferes with my desire to hug every turn at 90 MPH. The government interferes with my life by constantly delivering bills from creditors to my house.
Third, and most condemning, is the post-viability standard “to protect the life or health of the woman.” This standard has been so diluted as to include almost anything, including depression because of the perceived financial pressure of having another mouth to feed.
Fourth, any woman whose “fundamental right” is being “interfered” with has a right to sue the government. O.M.G. Talk about opening the doors of the courthouse. Truly pathetic. By extending the right to a civil claim on such flimsy standards, the Pelosi Congress and Bambi Nation will kill off absolutely any abortion-related legislation.
The Office of General Counsel of the US Conference of Catholic Bishops issued an analysis of the proposed law that addresses some of the points above and others.
FOCA does not define or qualify other key terms, such as "health," "interfere," or “discriminate.” [Continuing in Footnote 3:] There is no reason to think that "health," as used in FOCA, will not be given the same broad reading as the term was given in Doe v. Bolton, 410 U.S. 179, 192 (1973) (defining "health" to include "all factors - physical, emotional, psychological, familial, and the woman's age - relevant to the well-being of the patient"). In its findings, the bill cites Doe with approval. FOCA, § 2(3) and (4).Good point on “discriminate.” If not providing a service because a woman cannot afford it discrimination? Certainly.
What does the learned General Counsel think the impact of this legislation will be? As a general matter, if FOCA were enacted, it would wipe out a very large number of existing state laws on abortion, substantially impede the ability of states to regulate abortion, and override nearly 40 years of jurisprudential experience on the subject of abortion.
THAT’S a rather broad brush, eh? FOCA will simply wipe out decades of legislation and legal decisions. Nice. That’s for vetting this guy, MSM.
The demonic undertones of FOCA become clearer in this excerpt:
Thus, FOCA does not bar "substantial," "undue," or "unwarranted" interference, as Casey does, but any interference, however slight, with the decision whether to have an abortion. As Justices O'Connor, Kennedy, and Souter pointed out in adopting the undue burden standard: "All abortion regulations interfere to some degree with a woman's ability to decide whether to terminate her pregnancy." Casey, 505 U.S., at 875 (emphasis added). What the Constitution preserves, the Casey plurality concluded, is a right to be free of "unwarranted" or "undue" government intrusion into the abortion decision. Id, at 875~77. By outlawing any interference with the abortion decision, FOCA would bar a broad range of abortion regulations, however slight or de minimis their impact on the woman's decision whether to have an abortion.Again, the slightest wind interferes with my ability to walk against it. This legislation is incredibly overreaching.
The opinion goes on to list the types of laws that would be struck as a result of FOCA:
- informed consent laws
- parental notification laws
- laws promoting maternal health, if they result in an increased cost for abortions
- abortion clinic regulations, even those designed to make abortion safer for women
- government programs and facilities that pay for, provide, or insure childbirth or health care services generally, but not abortion
- laws protecting the conscience rights of doctors, nurses and hospitals, if those laws create even minimal delay or inconvenience in obtaining an abortion or treat abortion differently than other medical procedures
- laws prohibiting a particular abortion procedure, such as partial birth abortion
- laws requiring that abortions only be performed by a licensed physician
- laws prohibiting abortion after viability except when necessary to prevent significant, physical harm to the woman
- laws requiring a brief waiting period before an abortion is performed
- laws preventing post-viability sex-selection abortions where a mental health reason is asserted for the abortion
- laws requiring that abortion providers maintain certain records with respect to performed abortions
- laws preventing the carrying to term of a cloned human embryo, and quite possibly laws preventing the implantation of an existing cloned embryo for purposes of bearing the child (sometimes known as bans on "reproductive cloning").
- 50 states: Abortion reporting requirements
- 44 states: Concerning parental involvement,
- 40 states: Restricting later-term abortions,
- 46 states: Conscience protection laws for individual health care providers,
- 38 states: Bans on partial-birth abortions,
- 33 states: Requiring counseling before an abortion, and
- 27 states: Conscience protection laws for institutions,
- 16 states: Concerning ultrasounds before an abortion.
Presumably this would not only include federal and state legislators who merely introduce legislation seeking restrictions on abortion but also against peaceful pro-lifers who pray and offer alternatives in front of abortion facilities.This legislation could not be broader. Thank you, MSM, for allowing your personal feelings over ride your professional responsibilities in vetting this guy.
If this bill is passed and signed into law, I think Bambi is going to have a very challenging time with re-election. It is that broad in my view. Why? Not because of this bill alone – but the manner in which it runs roughshod over a significant portion of Americans. If this bill becomes law, then what is the next one? A pattern of serving deeply the special interests on the lib side of the world will emerge quickly.
You can track the bill through Congress here.