As introduced in the 110th Congress, the “Freedom of Choice Act”(FOCA) (S. 1173, H.R. 1964) declares that it is the policy of the United States that every woman has the “fundamental right” to terminate a pregnancy. The act prohibits government at every level (federal, state, and local) from “interfering” with a woman’s right to choose, and from “discriminating” against the exercise of this right.
FOCA is a radical bill. For the first time, the right to abortion would become an entitlement the government must condone and support. FOCA would have an unprecedented impact on society’s ability to limit or regulate abortion and would overturn a broad range of existing laws.
FOCA was first introduced in 1989. Abortion groups feared that the Supreme Court was retreating from its 1973 Roe v. Wade abortion decision and began the drive to establish an even more expansive right to abortion on statutory grounds.
FOCA embodies the public policy goals of pro-abortion groups. These groups will promote the bill’s passage directly, and advance its agenda by working to reverse pro-life laws one at a time. Federal elected officials should be urged to oppose FOCA or any similar bill, and to retain laws against the funding and promotion of abortion.