A Novena for Life
The next few days will be extraordinarily important in the life of the Pro Life Movement and the life of faithful Catholics, many Christians and persons of good will. On January 21 and 22, Congress will vote on the most radical and unrestricted legislation in the U.S. history regarding abortion. Such legislation is called The Freedom of Choice Act or FOCA and in such legislation it is stated that every woman has a "fundamental right" to abortion on demand, at any time of her pregnancy, without any interference from federal, state, or local governments, and without any consent or interference from parents, in the case of minors, or from the other spouse, in the case of married persons. Moreover, no government may "discriminate" against the exercise of this right when regulating of providing "benefits, facilities, services, or information" to the public. In other words, abortion may not be treated differently from live birth - if the public supports motherhood it must equally support abortion. FOCA endangers a wide range of laws enacted by the people and their elected representatives over 35 years - laws upheld under Roe and in cases applying it. These include laws on informed consent, parental involvement, physician licensure, clinic safety, and taxpayer funding. FOCA's far reaching rule on abortion is more radical than anything wrought by Roe. FOCA will invalidate laws enacted to protect a woman from unsafe abortions and to insure that she is informed about abortion.
FOCA will require all the taxpayers to pay for abortions. The current FOCA version removes language that is found in previous versions of the bill ensuring that taxpayers will not be forced to pay for abortions. The current bill says that the government may not "discriminate" against abortion in publicly funded programs. It goes further and removes any restriction for abortion on demand.
Roe allowed states to ban abortion after the baby became viable (when the child can survive outside of the womb). Late term abortion in the last trimester of pregnancy is something inconceivable due to the advances of modern medicine and the dignity of persons who are fully alive in the womb of a mother. The very way in which tools are used to extract a child in such partial birth abortion will be something demeaning, cruel, unprofessional, unethical, against the Hippocratic Oath of doctors, and just plainly immoral.
FOCA will force Catholic hospitals to do abortion. It will force Catholic doctors and nurses to participate in abortions. It will not allow a clause for conscientious objection on account of moral principles.
This is AN URGENT TIME. We have a new government that has promised this to be the first piece of legislation passed and the new President has promised to sign it. PRAYERS are NEEDED for a miracle and for a change of heart in the President and in the Legislators, especially the pro-abortion legislators, even Catholic Legislators. The faithful are asked to start a Novena of Masses, or a Novena of Rosaries to Our Lady of Guadalupe, Patroness of the Pro-Life efforts in the country, or a Novena of Fasting for whatever time may be prudent for you, or a Novena of a Holy Hour alone, in front of the Blessed Sacrament, or in your home..., starting on the 11th day of January, praying that, by God's Mercy, this legislation may not pass and that the new President may have a change of heart.
Prepared by Fr. Isidore Vicente O.P.