My Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
This January, we join Catholics and others around the country in prayer and reflection on the consequences of the January 1973 Roe vs. Wade decision by the Supreme Court, a misguided attempt to help women with unwanted pregnancies. This decision and the resulting expansion of abortion services have resulted in millions of lost lives and a lowering of the dignity of God’s gift of life.
We need to be especially vigilant and vocal on this issue now with our new president and Congress. Some groups want our new leaders to pass a deceptively-named bill called the “Freedom of Choice Act” (FOCA). Specifically, the “Freedom of Choice Act” would eliminate a broad range of laws — informed consent laws; parental involvement laws; laws promoting maternal health; it could even make it impossible for faith-based health providers that receive federal funds, e.g., Catholic hospitals, to refuse to offer abortion services!
The Catholic bishops of the United States have unanimously called us to prayer and action to prevent passage of such a radical bill and to oppose all other attempts to overturn existing pro-life laws and policies. Our voices are needed to remind our leaders that abortion is already too easy and far too common in our country and in the world.
President Obama and our new Congress should reject this attempt to expand abortion services and instead act quickly and wisely to address real threats facing families, including rising unemployment and increasing numbers of home foreclosures and families without health care. These and other important issues like immigration reform and the establishment of lasting peace based on diplomacy and development should be the focus of our new leaders.
Last week I prayed with some very dedicated people who stood in the cold at Planned Parenthood to make people aware that abortion is not a good “choice” for the baby, the woman, the family or for our society. We want to work together with people in our diocese to make better choices like adoption more available, affordable and acceptable. I ask that you take a few minutes of your time to support and restore the dignity of life in our nation.
Postcards opposing FOCA addressed to your elected leaders will be made available to the parishes in the next week, and a sample letter that could be sent by e-mail is posted on our diocesan Web site, www.davenportdiocese.org. The information on our Web site could also be used as talking points if you want to call your representatives in Congress.
Thank you for helping our leaders to recognize the importance of life and the families that nurture and support life.
Sincerely in Christ,
Most Rev. Martin Amos
Bishop of Davenport