07 Mar Congressman to introduce FOCA ‘sooner rather than later,’ spokesman says
A spokesman for Congressman Jerrold Nadler (D-NY) has said that the Freedom of Choice Act is among the congressman’s priorities and will be introduced “sooner rather than later,” according to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.
The Freedom of Choice Act (FOCA) is intended to enshrine abortion rights into federal law, protecting abortion in the event the Supreme Court overturns its ban on restrictive state abortion laws. The proposal has drawn intense Catholic opposition, with Catholic bishops worried the bill could threaten Catholic hospitals’ freedom to refuse to cooperate with or perform abortions.
A prior version of FOCA defined abortion as a “fundamental right” that no government can “deny” or “interfere with.”
Critics have claimed that concern about FOCA is overblown, noting the bill has not even been introduced for the present Congressional session. They declare FOCA’s chances of passing Congress to be slim.
However, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch quotes Ilan Kayatsky, a spokesman for Rep. Nadler, who said the legislation is “among the congressman’s priorities. We expect to reintroduce it sooner rather than later.”
Kayatsky said he expects FOCA’s other original sponsor, Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.), to introduce the bill in the U.S. Senate.
“We expect it to be more or less the same bill with some minor tweaks,” Kayatsky told the Post-Dispatch.
As U.S. Senator from Illinois, Barack Obama was a co-sponsor of FOCA. In 2007 during his campaign for the Democratic presidential nomination, he had promised a gathering of members of the Planned Parenthood Action Fund that he would sign FOCA as one of his first acts in office.