By Susan Brinkmann, OCDS
Bishop Paul Loverde of the diocese of Arlington is promising to disobey the radical pro-abortion Freedom of Choice Act (FOCA) if it should ever pass and is telling any lawmakers who want to sign off on such a draconian measure – including president-elect Barack Obama – to “take a flying leap.”
The bill, which would force all health care providers to perform abortions at any state of development,regardless of their moral or religious objection, would result in the closing of a third of the nation’s hospitals. Bishop Loverde says that even though there are no Catholic hospitals in Washington, DC, if there were, he would refuse to close them.
“I would say, ‘Yeah, I’m not going to close the hospital, you’re going to arrest me, go right ahead,” Bishop Loverde told a group of mostly young adults at a recent diocesan event, according to a report by the Catholic News Service.
“You’ll have to drag me out, go right ahead,” Bishop Loverde said. “I’m not closing this hospital, we will not perform abortions, and you can go take a flying leap.’”
He went on to criticize the name given to the act – Freedom of Choice. “It’s quite a title, let me tell you,” he said. “It’s a misnomer. It’s neither free nor choice, so I don’t know where they got the name of the act, because it’s just crazy, because it has no freedom, and it has no choice.”
President-elect Barack Obama promised Planned Parenthood in 2007 that he would make passage of the bill one of his highest priorities as president. The Catholic hierarchy and pro-life groups across the nation have been sounding the alarm ever since the election and trying to educate the public about the radical nature of the bill, which will overturn every existing state and federal abortion restriction, including the Partial Birth Abortion Ban of 2003.
Other U.S. Bishops have spoken out forcefully against the bill, including Cardinal Francis George, president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB). Cardinal George issued a statement on behalf of all Catholic bishops warning Obama that “aggressive pro-abortion policies, legislation and executive orders will permanently alienate tens of millions of Americans, and would be seen by many as an attack on the free exercise of their religion.”
In addition, an unnamed senior Vatican official recently told TIME magazine that the passage of FOCA would mean “the equivalent of a war” between Mr. Obama and the Catholic Church.
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