.- After a meeting with Catholic leaders in Philadelphia last week, Sen. John McCain’s pro-life credentials are being questioned some pro-lifers who wonder if he would veto the Freedom of Choice Act, which if passed, would invalidate many of the laws that regulate abortion. Leaders who were present at the meeting informed CNA that they believe McCain would undoubtedly veto the bill.
The Freedom of Choice Act (FOCA) was most recently introduced on introduced April 19, 2007 -- one day after the U.S. Supreme Court upheld the Partial Birth Abortion Act of 2003.
According to the American Center for Law and Justice the impact of FOCA being passed, would be to “create an absolute right to abortion that would override any federal, state or local law that simply 'interfered with' that right, no matter how compelling the justification for the law."
The Republican National Coalition for Life also was of the same opinion, saying, “The heart of the (FOCA) bill is a ban that would nullify all of the major types of pro-life laws that the Supreme Court has said are permissible under Roe v. Wade, including the ban on partial-birth abortions and bans on government funding of abortions.”
Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-CA), who introduced the bill, saw the legislation differently, describing it as being about “the absolute right to choose” prior to fetal “viability.” However, the Republican Coalition for Life pointed out that FOCA goes even further. “The no-restriction policy would also apply after “viability” to any abortion sought on the grounds of “health.”
During his meeting with Catholic leaders last Friday, Sen. McCain reminded Philadelphia Catholics of his pro-life voting record and emphasized that he would “maintain that commitment” if elected president.
Deal Hudson, one of the leaders present at the meeting, informed CNA that when it came to McCain vetoing FOCA, “Nobody asked him that question. My view is that, of course, he would veto it."
Fr. Frank Pavone of Priests for Life agreed with Hudson, saying, “I have no doubt that he would veto it.”
“Moreover, it’s so extreme, I really don’t think it would ever reach his desk, even if the Democrats increased their numbers in Congress,” Fr. Pavone said.
Barack Obama has made his position on FOCA clear by promising at a July 17, 2007 speech to the Planned Parenthood Action Fund that signing it into law would be his first act as president.