Life with Coco and Gigi... and Jack-Jack too!

Life as a Mom, A Homesteader, A Blogger and A Wife.

Freedom of Choice Act

***DISCLAIMER: This post could be considered by some (or maybe many) to be controversial. I try to avoid controversial issues here so as not to push readers away. I don't want one of those annoying preachy or controversial blogs... not my thing. That being said this is an issue that is near and dear to my heart so if you disagree please don't leave a nasty comment. I am entitled to my opinion. Remember what your mother said, if you don't have anything nice to say don't say anything at all. :D Thanks!


"From Slate Magazine:
Lose-Lose on Abortion
Obama's threat to Catholic hospitals and their very serious counterthreat.
By Melinda Henneberger, Posted Monday, Nov. 24, 2008, at 6:56 PM ET

When I saw the Catholic bishops had declared war on President-elect Obama at their semiannual meeting in Baltimore two weeks ago, my first reaction was pique: Gosh, guys, it isn't even parade day yet, and here you are, all dressed up and ready to rain on it. ....

.......What in the world were these bishops talking about, claiming that religious freedom in America was under attack? .... And the most ludicrous line out of them, surely, was about how, under Obama, Catholic hospitals that provide obstetric and gynecological services might soon be forced to perform abortions or close their doors. Auxiliary Bishop Thomas Paprocki of Chicago warned of "devastating consequences" to the health care system, insisting Obama could force the closure of all Catholic hospitals in the country. That's a third of all hospitals, providing care in many neighborhoods that are not exactly otherwise overprovided for. It couldn't happen, could it?

You wouldn't think so. Only, I am increasingly convinced that it could. If the Freedom of Choice Act passes Congress, and that's a big if, Obama has promised to sign it the second it hits his desk. (Here he is at a Planned Parenthood Action Fund event in 2007, vowing, "The first thing I'd do as president is, is sign the Freedom of Choice Act. That's the first thing I'd do.") 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 funds, these health centers couldn't stay open; if forced to do abortions, they would sooner close their doors. Even the prospect of selling the institutions to other providers wouldn't be an option, the bishops have said, because that would constitute "material cooperation with an intrinsic evil."

The bishops are not bluffing when they say they'd turn out the lights rather than comply. Nor is Auxiliary Bishop Robert Hermann of St. Louis exaggerating, I don't think, in vowing that "any one of us would consider it a privilege to die tomorrow—to die tomorrow—to bring about the end of abortion.''

Whatever your view on the legality and morality of abortion, there is another important question to be considered here: Could we even begin to reform our already overburdened health care system without these Catholic institutions? I don't see how.
People on both sides of the abortion argument have told me that despite a clear pro-choice majority in Congress, it's not clear the Democrats have the votes to pass this particular bill. It hasn't been put forward in a serious way—with any real chance of passing—in 15 years, and many members have never cast a vote on it.

Some of the newly elected Democrats are pro-life—backed by their party for seats that would otherwise have gone to pro-life Republicans—and others are in the center on the abortion issue, meaning that they favor keeping it legal but with some limits. There are also serious questions about whether FOCA as currently drafted exceeds congressional authority. But when Obama was campaigning on FOCA, he didn't say anything about wanting to change it."


For those of you who do not know, the Freedom of Choice Act (FOCA) is set to be signed if congress passes it on January 21-22 of 2009. The FOCA is the next sad chapter in the book of abortion. If made a law, virtually all limitations on abortion will be lifted, which will result in the following:

1) All hospitals, including Catholic hospitals would be required to perform abortions upon request. If this were to happen, some U.S.Bishops have indicated they would consider closing down Catholic hospitals rather than perform abortions - more than 30% of all hospitals in the United States are Catholic.

2) Partial birth abortions would be legal and have no limitations.

3) All U.S. tax payers would be funding abortions.

4) Parental notification will no longer be required.

5) The number of abortions could increase by as much as 100,000 annually.

Perhaps most importantly the government would then have control in the issue of abortion. This could result in a future amendment that would force women by law to have abortions in certain situations (down syndrome babies, etc) and could even regulate how many children a woman is allowed to have.

Needless to say this information is disturbing, but sadly true. As Catholics, as Christians, as anyone who is against the killing of innocent children, we must stand as one. We must stop this act before it becomes a law.


MrsSpock 11:57 PM  

I want to point out a few fallacies of logic in this argument.

You can read the actual text of the legislation here:

There is nothing in this act that would ever lead to forced abortions or regulating the amount of children a woman would have.

"The United States was founded on the principles of individual liberty, personal privacy, and equality. Such principles ensure that each individual is free to make the most intimate decisions free from governmental interference and discrimination."

Read Section 4- it specifically states that the government has no right to interfere with a woman's right to choose to bear a child, as well as to terminate a pregnancy.

There is also nothing in this act that specifically nullifies the Conscience Clause, which can be read here:

They might "consider" closing hospitals, but I doubt it would be done. There's too much money involved- and the Catholic Church is really hurting for money after the huge payouts to clergy abuse victims. I'm sure there are plenty of more secular health care corporations that would gladly buy them out.

Lindsey Fescoe 8:23 AM  

I am very passionate about this issue too and I think it is so very sad what America has come to. We have to continue to stand strong and protect these innocent lives. It's not about having freedom as Americans, it's not about population control, privacy, teenage pregnancies, etc. Abortion has become an attempt to justify murder, plain and simple. We must not back down. It's a child, not a choice.

Unknown 1:11 PM  

Hey Kris, I couldn't have said it better myself...I also really, really like the following article:

he also talks about issues we face as pro-life christians. We have to take care of our future generations, including their right to life!

Kristen 9:46 PM  

Mrs. Spock - I have read the legislature in full and while I agree that no governmental body will have the ability to force a woman to have an abortion I still find it abominable to eliminate all regulations. No hospital should be forced to perform abortions. No parent should be kept in the dark about their own child's health. I realize this is my personal opinion but I feel very strongly about it. You can call them "fallacies of logic" but that is YOUR OPINION not fact.

Anonymous 10:20 PM  

Choice. That's the key here for me. In a perfect world, all babies would have a loving home, all teen girls could talk with their parents about their sexual mistakes, and no couple would have to resort to fertility treatments to start a family. This is not a perfect world. As it were, many babies live in abusive and neglectful homes, lots of teen girls get kicked out or worse for telling their care takers about their mistake, and lots of couples enjoy the freedom to utilize fertility treatments to start their families. If we're drawing a line in the sand regarding procreative choice, how can you be sure that your personal choices won't eventually end up on the restrictive side of that line?

Kristen 11:10 PM  

I'm going to move on from this topic. I am smart enough to know that no one is going to change anyones mind here. I believe that while choice is important what about the lack of choice of a child conceived only to be stripped of it's chance at life. Ok, like I said... moving on.

Anonymous 8:52 AM  

Instead of posting an article, it would have been much more interesting to read your opinions. I hardly think that, ostensibly, "Here is an article that I find to be true" can mirror your exact thoughts. Opinions are messy things, filled with personal contradictions sometimes, yet still and we are all entitled to our own. But what you did was print someone else's opinion, not yours. Why let an article speak for you? [ad did you have permission to publish it?] Why can't you articulate what you feel instead? Are you really that afraid of losing readers? And as soon as someone in the comments shows their opinion, you run away saying "I'm moving on." It sounds like you don't walk a dialogue, you want a soapbox. If that is the case, use your own words.

Kristen 12:46 PM  

Anonymous - Here is my personal opinion. ABORTION IS WRONG. Enough said.

I didn't really want to get into a pissing match with people who have differing opinions. This is not supposed to be a soapbox for my opinions on abortion. I don't consider my blog a soapbox in any way shape or form. I find blogging to be cathartic rather than aggravating (although right now is a different story).

I thought this article was valuable for people to know what changes to existing laws may be occurring in the near future.

In case you haven't noticed from reading my blog I stray away from these types of issues. I find it annoying that other people load their blogs with too much controversial information. I find it trite and overdone. So, since this is my blog I am going to move on to topics that I find more suitable for MY BLOG.

I don't really care what people post as a comment as long is it is thoughtful and non-accusatory. I have never been one to delete comments or get heated in my responses. This just isn't that type of blog. If that's want you are looking for than this is SO not the place.

Kristen 1:44 PM  

Ok, I take one part of that back., I though about it and found myself laughing out loud while doing laundry. If I am accused of wanting a soapbox rather than a dialogue than I guess I am guilty as all other bloggers. Isn't a blog a big, fancy soapbox??? If you want a dialogue, go join a forum. :D I promise I don't mean that as smart-a$$y as it sounds.

Anonymous 3:11 PM  

Like you said, moving on, but one last comment I might make is that federal policy should not be dictated by the whims of the Catholic Church or any other church. The point of federal policy is to be as inclusive as possible. Just to continue this line of argument, if the Catholic Church, in its infinite wisdom, decided to refuse prenatal or maternity services to women who conceived using fertility treatments, I'm pretty sure there would be a big hub bub if the fed kept giving them money...because it's discriminatory. That situation is not out of the realm of possibility as many Catholic clergy feel fertility treatments are wrong and against God. Just food for thought. Where you see death, I see the right for some people to have a life.

Anonymous 8:02 AM  

The previous anon isn't me, but I echo her (I assume) sentiments. The Catholic church, if I am not mistaken, is against all forms of birth control. Not sure where it stands on fertility treatments, but I am guessing they are not fans. They are against abortion, of course, and personally, so I am I, believe it or not. I would never have one. However, I would not ever want to tell another woman what to do with her body. I know a 12 year old (yes, 12) who was raped by her brother and she kept the baby. I admire her and respect her choice, but I would not want to be in that place.

Yes, blogs are to an extent a soapbox, but what makes them so dynamic is that via comments on most blogs, we can all hear The Other Side. Comments can be "turned off" if someone wants a Soapbox Moment Post. But if commenst are left on, I assume that means that we can comment in any way.

Obviously we all don't always agree. If you posted something about, say, napping schedules and I posted my version of napping schedules, which differs from yours, I hardly think you would find that contentious. You posted a piece about a hot-button issue and I would assume that you might want to hear other's opinions, even if they don't align with yours. I still stand by the this: If you are going to throw something out there like that post and then shut the door on a dialogue, then that, to me, suggests that either you are afraid you can't support your side or views or you won't/don't want to listen to others explain theirs. Which, of course, is your right.

People don't always agree with me on my blog and, personally, I love hearing other points. While my blog is mainly a forum to discuss my life with my twins, I do talk about politics and things like this from time to time. And believe it or not, comments and other's opinions have helped me grow as a person, a woman and a mother.

And as you said, you find controversial issues on blogs trite and overdone. Ehh. I don't agree. Not to get all feminist on you, but women need a voice in these area. For us, as women, to steer clear of politics and religion and war and conflicts and policy and law and congress and abortion and everything that isn't neat and pretty further relegates decision-making to not we the people but, more often than not, Old White Men. Just my opinion.

And could go on and on and on but my twins are stirring....

Unknown 8:53 AM  

In response to the original "Anonymous" poster, despite the concerns raised about abuse and the well-being of teenagers and of the family, there seems a lack of concern for the fundamental beginning of these humans. As for children living with abusive families, you have the obligation to take action. The world is not a perfect one, but children deserve the opportunity to have a life and a loving family. If you even have an inkling that a child is being abused, you take steps to protect that child - you may find 24 hours/ 7 days a week assistance here:

As for your concerns with teenage pregnancy, the United States and its people are indeed making an effort to respond to this issue. In a study by Ventura, Abma, Mosher, and Henshaw, "the teenage pregnancy rate dropped 38 percent during 1990-2004, reaching an historic low of 72.2 pregnancies per 1,000 women aged 15-19 years" (2008). This is in part due to increases in sex education programs including both abstinence as well as safe sex/contraceptive use.

And in regards to teenagers engaging in sexual practices, the Guttmacher Institute of New York reports "nationally, more than half
of teenagers are virgins until they are at least 17 years of age." It is essential to continue educating our youth in order for them to be knowledgeable about sex and the responsibilities that can result with sexual intercourse. And while it is important to be concerned with teenagers and teenage pregnancies, we shouldn't overlook the number of adult pregnancies resulting in abortions as well.

In a report by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, over 80% of the reported abortions performed in the Unites States were with females over 18 years old. Following this logic, we are led to the question of "why"? Why are women having their babies aborted? As you pointed out, unfortunately abusive situations do result in pregnancies and mothers choose to abort these babies. However in a study by Torres and Forrest, only 1% percent of the abortions performed in the United States are due to babies conceived through rape or an abusive sexual act. Further, only 6% of abortions are performed to save the mother or because the baby will be born with a medical condition. The remainder of women who sought abortion did so for personal reasons including: she does not want to disrupt her current life, does not feel that she is ready to raise children, is having relationship problems with her significant other, felt pressure from partner or family, and does not want other people to know that she is pregnant - to name a few reasons.

With over 90% of abortions linked with a woman's personal reasons, what other alternative do women have besides abortion? Let's consider the other "A" option available to pregnant women - adoption. In the our home country, "fewer than 14,000 infants were given up for adoption in 2003 --a less-than-1% rate that's been consistent for almost two decades" according to the the US Department of Health and Human Services. With decreasing number of children available in the United States, families have turned to international adoption. Over the past three decades, a quarter of a million children have been adopted by families here (US Dept. of State 2002). Over 90% of those adopted are under the age of five years old (US Dept. of Justice 2000). By choosing to end a baby's life, the child will never have the opportunity to have a secure life with another family who desperately wants a child.

However, taking a step back, let's discuss the actual abortion. In order for us to better discuss the issue, we will need to take a peek at one of the forms of abortion called partial birth abortion, or rather intact dilation and extraction:

First, the cervix is dilated and then the baby is repositioned so that the feet rather than the head are aligned with the birth canal. The baby is extracted using forceps to pull the baby by the legs until all of the baby's body is outside of the mother except for the head. Next, the baby's skull is pierced with scissors. After widening the incision, a suction catheter is placed inside and the baby's brain is suctioned out. As the baby's head collapses, the baby is completely extracted from his or her mother and thrown away.

My personal opinion is that this is murder.

If you went to a child, a teen, or even an adult and suctioned out his/her brain, I would like to hear your justification in court for that person's murder and how you should be permitted to decide for that person whether he or she should live. But then that leads us down the road to euthanasia, which is yet another discussion.

As seen in the various issues intertwined here, it basically comes down to "life" rather than "choice". Human beings are a living embodiment of free will in the sense that you have the freedom to think, feel, and act according to your own and consequently, you are morally responsible for the actions you choose. You may have choices in life and have the free will to make such decisions; however, when your will endangers the life of another, you are seeking to disregard that person's right to live. Rather than resort to impulses or base decisions solely on our wants, our own choices and will should reflect a balance of feeling, knowledge, and responsibility to our fellow man. Respect for life is of utmost importance.

On another side topic, as you duly noted in your posting within this blog commentary, "Opinions are messy things, filled with personal contradictions sometimes, yet still and we are all entitled to our own." No, I did not have permission from you to post a quote from you; however, I did give you just credit as mirrored by the original poster in the sense that she posted a reference in order to support a stance in which she holds interest. And going back to your quote, you did an excellent job of describing yourself.

In order to have a civil discussion, both parties must have an interest in honestly learning where the other person is coming from and delving into facts as well as opinions. Further, just because someone does not have identical beliefs to your own does not justify personal attacks. You ask for her opinion and then attack her when she provides her opinion. Despite claiming "we are all entitled to our own", you have only regards for your own personal beliefs.

If you wish to continue this discussion further, feel free to send me an e-mail rather than continue to post in a mask of anonymity. If you wish to share your own opinions and be respected as an individual, then earn that respect.

And just to clarify my personal position in summation, I believe that a baby has the fundamental right to live.

Anonymous 9:17 AM  

Hi Rachel- Great post! I would email privately but there is no address. Your blog is set to private.

Funny thing is, I didn't actually voice my opinions beyond a sentence or two! I said that I am against abortion. I said that I would never have one. I printed some facts about the Catholic Church (off topic, I must say). And I posted a story from my life about a 12 year old. There are lots of extreme cases, that we all know, and both sides of any argument like to stand on those. But I never attacked the blogger here for her opinion. I respect it. I only said it is weak to walk away from intellectual discussions and a little lame to just post another person's words alone.

And if you think I don't respect other's opinions, then you didn't read both of my posts carefully.

Your post, if you removed the awful play-by-play (I can't read it; I can't watch violence; I can't even read anything graphic since my kids were born) is intellectual, well said and pointed. (the ply-by-play gets points for drawing attention though. An argument addition that an attorney would be proud of, and I mean that in a complimentary way.) I admire you for your convictions and for having the words and the facts to defend them.

I know of women who use abortions as birth control. Horrifying, no? I know women who are staunchly Catholic who have had abortions once they discover thru tests that their child has Downs. I myself have had two abortions (though prefer D&Cs as a name) to remove the dead babies that died in me. When doctors asked if I had abortions I bristle. YES I did. But after the baby died. And not because I wanted to. Did I do something wrong?

And yet yet yet my one opinion is I just don't want to tell others what to do, much like I wouldn't want them to tell ME what to do.

However, like you said, these are lives we are talking about. I fully believe that. So could my opinions be swayed someday through intellectual discourse? Through well meaning debate? Through listening to other's opinions? Yes.

My opinions are messy indeed. Contradictory too. I am a social democrat and a fiscal republican. I am not religious but I am spiritual and I believe in god. I believe we are all one and we are all different.

Thank you for not running from this. Believe it or not, you and I fundamentally agree with one another. I did notice a dig or two in your response to me, but other than that, you sound like a interesting person to have a conversation with!

Unknown 10:51 AM  

As clarification on my previous post, my response was to the original "Anonymous" poster. There were four posts by anonymous posters by the time that I responded this morning. However, based on the writing style and tone as well as the statement in the fourth post about being separate persons, I assumed that there were two posters with first three posts by one poster and the fourth was from a different person.

Again, making an assumption from the tone and your reference to the 12-year old mentioned in the fourth post, you seem to be the latter of the two posters. My post was not in response to yours - though if you would like to further elaborate on your beliefs and experiences, feel free to contact me at any time.

I apologize for not having provided my e-mail address in my original message as to provide a means of contact - it was a definite slight on my account and thank you for bringing about my awareness of it. You may reach me at the following:

Again, I will not be contributing anything further on this particular thread, but feel free to continue any discussion with me through e-mail.

Anonymous 11:13 AM  

Seems we anonymous made a mess of things!

I am Anonymous with the SECOND post and the "Hi Rachel" post and the "Previous anon isn't me" post.

I guess we should not hijack K's comments. It is clear that she doesn't want to engage in this discussion.

You're right to bring this discussion to another forum.

Anonymous 12:18 PM  

"With decreasing number of children available in the United States, families have turned to international adoption."

"let's discuss the actual abortion. In order for us to better discuss the issue, we will need to take a peek at one of the forms of abortion called partial birth abortion"

I am one of the two anon posters--I commented on the Catholic Church. I don't have a blog, I just appreciate this one and others.

Your first quote is interesting because, in my adoption research conducted prior to the conception of my daughter, I found that there are plenty of babies to adopt, just not white ones.

Per your second quote--the partial birth abortion argument keeps all fanatic pro-lifers in business. The termination of a pregnancy comes in many forms and stages. Your graphic description of the second trimester abortions does not negate the importance of abortion being available as a whole.

For example, if a woman has an ectopic pregnancy with a heartbeat, even though that is not a viable pregnancy and will lead to the woman's death, removal of said embryo is considered an abortion. Shall we ban that? How about that 13 year old raped by her uncle...ban that one? How about that woman who will go into organ failure if her pregnancy progresses thus leaving her other children either motherless or with a severely disabled mother...ban that one too?

In my past work with women I have seen all of these and more. If you think pro-choicers want to keep abortion legal so some ignorant bitch can use it as birth control, well you are mislead and uninformed. It is an important and necessary procedure for a large number of women and girls--the societal payout is that we will have to accept those who abuse it.

I'd like to know how many people die because of reckless driving every year, so why not ban cars?

Kristen 12:54 PM  

Anon - Interesting how I am being called the weak person here. At least I have the balls to post with my name on the post. Excuse me for not having the time to sit and drone on and on about my personal opinions. Must be nice to have the time to stir the pot and call me on the carpet.

As for comments, I NEVER said not to post them. I just don't want to be attacked for my beliefs. I didn't shut down comments or berate anyone for leaving them. That's what they're there for so comment away.

As for me I am going to go get back to my life and work and kids.

Rachel - RIGHT ON GIRL!!!

Anonymous 1:17 PM  

Hey Kristen- I don't post my name because I am pretty sure you read my blog and I don't want you to dislike me. Yep, I am insecure about things like that!

And yes, it is nice to have the time to write my blog and read others and "stir the pot," as you say. But I am just like you: A mom to twins. I worked hard to establish schedules so I could have this sort of time in my day.

I'm sad that you think that expressing your personal opinion is "droning." I would think your self esteem is higher than that.

Look at this post: 18 comments. That is a record, no? I think it proves that these are the sort of issues people want to talk about. And I didn't read any nasty comments: No one was name-calling or putting down. I agree with your shout-out to Rachel. She was indeed very well spoken and eloquent. But the fact that you will only acknowledge those that agree with you says a lot.

But I guess you won't even see this comment, as you said you are done, and I take you for your word.

Kristen 3:30 PM  

Anon- I am not asking you to unveil who you are just know that I DO NOT dislike anyone for what they have said. I DISAGREE strongly and I may not like the way people went about disagreeing but I do not lose respect for people just because we are of different minds.



About this blog

Over 8 years we have struggled through 3 IUI's, 6 rounds of IVF, several RE's, hundreds of appointments and the loss of three little angels. Now we find ourselves the proud parents of two perfect little girls and a wonderful little boy!!

Both of our girls struggle with some disabilities but that won't keep us down. Each day has it's own brand of insanity but we love it. Most days I am more monkey wrangler than mother but I do the best I can. Todays goal - getting to tomorrow.

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