‘Radical’ bill seen as threat to pro-life gains

A national Catholic pro-life leader visiting the Diocese of Peoria this week warned of legislation on the horizon that is “more radical than Roe vs. Wade” when it comes to the sanctioning of abortion in the United States.

Thomas J. Grenchik urged Catholic citizens to contact the offices of their U.S. representatives and senators to urge them to oppose The Freedom of Choice Act, which has been introduced in both houses and may be considered in the final weeks of the 110th Congress.

Grenchik is executive director of the Secretariat for Pro-Life Activities of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops. He spoke twice in Peoria on Tuesday, Oct 7 — first to diocesan priests attending their Assembly Days (see related story, page 3) and later that evening to 75 people at St. Thomas Church in Peoria Heights.

Both presentations focused primarily on “Forming Consciences for Faithful Citizenship,” the bishops’ call to political responsibility revised last November for this election year.

But Grenchik’s call to action regarding The Freedom of Choice Act showed voting is just one aspect of a citizen’s responsibility.

The proposed legislation, he said, represents a “complete national-level mandate for abortion” that would “undo every pro-life gain” of recent decades.

It 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.”

The act would eliminate regulations that protect women from unsafe abortion clinics, force taxpayers to fund abortions, require all states to allow “partial birth” and other late-term abortions, subject women to abortions by non-physicians, and strip parents of their right to be involved in their minor daughters’ abortion decision. It would also, said Grenchik, take away conscience protection for Catholic health care workers and medical centers.

He directed concerned Catholics to call the U.S. Capitol switchboard, (202) 224-3121 to contact their representatives and senators and urge them to oppose FOCA.

The issue is also an election matter, said Grenchik, noting that “depending on how the elections go, there could be an awful lot of support to moving forward with The Freedom of Choice Act.”

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