Latta Signs Letter Asking President Obama to Withdraw Pledge to Sign So-Called "Freedom of Choice" Act

House Republicans Ask President Obama to Withdraw Pledge to Sign
So-Called "Freedom of Choice" Act

Pro-Life Legislators Warn Enactment of FOCA Agenda Would Increase
Abortions and Divide America

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Led by House Republican Leader John Boehner (R-OH),
more than 80 House Republican legislators today called on President
Obama to withdraw his pledge to sign the so-called "Freedom of Choice"
Act (FOCA), legislation that would overturn virtually all pro-life laws
nationwide. The request by House GOP legislators comes on the eve of
the 36th anniversary of the tragic Roe v. Wade ruling by the U.S.
Supreme Court.

A letter signed by more than 80 members of the House Republican
Conference - including Boehner, Republican Whip Eric Cantor (R-VA),
Conference Chairman Mike Pence (R-IN), Policy Committee Chairman
Thaddeus McCotter (R-MI), Conference Vice-Chair Cathy McMorris Rodgers
(R-WA), and others - will be formally sent to the President later today.

"Americans from all walks of life have been touched by your pledge to
govern from the center, and by your vow to be a president for all
Americans," the House GOP legislators said. "[We] respectfully urge you
to build on this foundation by withdrawing your pledge to sign the
so-named Freedom of Choice Act (FOCA), which would in one tragic act
overturn virtually all pro-life laws nationwide, and by refusing to
support legislation that incrementally enacts the FOCA agenda by
rescinding or weakening existing pro-life laws piece by piece.

"You have expressed a desire to be a president for all Americans, and to
use your presidency to promote initiatives that bring Americans
together, rather than drive them apart. We recognize it will not always
be easy for you to do this. However, too much is at stake for this
divisive and destructive legislation to move forward and life-saving
laws to be rolled back. We respectfully urge you to withdraw your
pledge to sign FOCA, and that you pledge not to sign legislation that
incrementally enacts FOCA by rescinding existing pro-life laws and legal
protections."

NOTE: Full text of the letter, along with a list of signers, follows.

January 21, 2009

Dear Mr. President,

Since the beginning of your presidential transition, Americans from all
walks of life have been touched by your pledge to govern from the
center, and by your vow to be a president for all Americans. We are
writing to respectfully urge you to build on this foundation by
withdrawing your pledge to sign the so-named Freedom of Choice Act
(FOCA), which would in one tragic act overturn virtually all pro-life
laws nationwide, and by refusing to support legislation that
incrementally enacts the FOCA agenda by rescinding or weakening existing
pro-life laws piece by piece.

On January 22, our nation will mark the 36th anniversary of the tragic
Roe v. Wade decision by the U.S. Supreme Court. Since Roe v. Wade, many
laws - including laws to prevent federal taxpayer funding for abortion -
have been enacted to mitigate the effects of the decision on unborn
babies and their mothers. We hope that you would support the
continuation of these laws and would oppose initiatives such as FOCA,
which is more radical than the Roe v. Wade decision.

Cardinal Francis George of Chicago, the president of the U.S. Conference
of Catholic Bishops, recently warned FOCA "would deprive the American
people in all fifty states of the freedom they now have to enact modest
restraints and regulations on the abortion industry, [and] coerce all
Americans into subsidizing and promoting abortion with their tax
dollars." It would "have lethal consequences for prenatal human life
[and] an equally destructive effect on the freedom of conscience of
doctors, nurses and health care workers whose personal convictions do
not permit them to cooperate in the private killing of unborn children,"
threatening health care institutions and charities throughout the
country, he noted. Enacting FOCA or overturning existing policies would
have the same effect. We ask that you reject this divisive agenda.

During the campaign you talked about reducing abortions. The Freedom of
Choice Act would do the opposite. By overturning laws that require
parental notification or consent before a minor girl obtains an
abortion, the abortion rate will increase. A recent study
by Dr. Michael J. New showed
that when a state enacts a parental involvement law, the minor abortion
rate falls by 19 to 31 percent.

Also, advocates on both sides of the abortion debate agree that
longstanding provisions that restrict funding for abortions reduce the
number of abortions dramatically. A recent study
by Heather D.
Boonstra appearing in the Guttmacher Policy Review showed that 18 to 35
percent of Medicaid patients who would have had an abortion carry their
babies to term when Medicaid will not pay for their abortion.
Restrictions on funding for abortion save lives and protect the
consciences of millions of Americans who do not want their tax dollars
to be used to destroy innocent human life.

You have expressed a desire to be a president for all Americans, and to
use your presidency to promote initiatives that bring Americans
together, rather than drive them apart. We recognize it will not always
be easy for you to do this. However, too much is at stake for this
divisive and destructive legislation to move forward and life-saving
laws to be rolled back. We respectfully urge you to withdraw your
pledge to sign FOCA, and that you pledge not to sign legislation that
incrementally enacts FOCA by rescinding existing pro-life laws and legal
protections.

Sincerely,

Rep. John Boehner (R-OH)

Rep. Eric Cantor (R-VA)

Rep. Mike Pence (R-IN)

Rep. Thaddeus McCotter (R-MI)

Rep. Pete Sessions (R-TX)

Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA)

Rep. Chris Smith (R-NJ)

Rep. Joe Pitts (R-PA)

Rep. Roy Blunt (R-MO)

Rep. Tom Price (R-GA)

Rep. Todd Akin (R-MO)

Rep. Jean Schmidt (R-OH)

Rep. Donald Manzullo (R-IL)

Rep. Rob Bishop (R-UT)

Rep. Charles Boustany (R-LA)

Rep. Trent Franks (R-AZ)

Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R-TN)

Rep. Vernon Ehlers (R-MI)

Rep. Paul Broun (R-GA)

Rep. Thomas Rooney (R-FL)

Rep. Joe Wilson (R-SC)

Rep. Dan Burton (R-IN)

Rep. Sue Myrick (R-NC)

Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL)

Rep. Ron Paul (R-TX)

Rep. Timothy V. Johnson (R-IL)

Rep. Mark Souder (R-IN)

Rep. Todd Tiahrt (R-KS)

Rep. Gus Bilirakis (R-FL)

Rep. Mike Rogers (R-AL)

Rep. Robert Aderholt (R-AL)

Rep. Doug Lamborn (R-CO)

Rep. Spencer Bachus (R-AL)

Rep. Michael Burgess (R-TX)

Rep. Bob Inglis (R-SC)

Rep. Jerry Moran (R-KS)

Rep. Aaron Schock (R-IL)

Rep. Patrick Tiberi (R-OH)

Rep. David Roe (R-TN)

Rep. Sam Graves (R-MO)

Rep. Henry E. Brown, Jr. (R-SC)

Rep. Lee Terry (R-NE)

Rep. Tim Murphy (R-PA)

Rep. Steve Austria (R-OH)

Rep. Virginia Foxx (R-NC)

Rep. Elton Gallegly (R-CA)

Rep. Mac Thornberry (R-TX)

Rep. Geoff Davis (R-KY)

Rep. Pete Hoekstra (R-MI)

Rep. Steven LaTourette (R-OH)

Rep. Mike Rogers (R-MI)

Rep. Pete Olson (R-TX)

Rep. Blaine Leutkemeyer (R-MO)

Rep. Phil Gingrey (R-GA)

Rep. Jeff Fortenberry (R-NE)

Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH)

Rep. Gregg Harper (R-MS)

Rep. Duncan Hunter (R-CA)

Rep. Walter Jones (R-NC)

Rep. Robert Latta (R-OH)

Rep. Steve Scalise (R-LA)

Rep. John Campbell (R-CA)

Rep. Scott Garrett (R-NJ)

Rep. Patrick McHenry (R-NC)

Rep. Candice Miller (R-MI)

Rep. Glenn Thompson (R-PA)

Rep. John Kline (R-MN)

Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-TX)

Rep. Gary Miller (R-CA)

Rep. Mike Coffman (R-CO)

Rep. Rodney Alexander (R-LA)

Rep. Todd Platts (R-PA)

Rep. Bob Goodlatte (R-VA)

Rep. Adam Putnam (R-FL)

Rep. Jo Ann Emerson (R-MO)
Rep. Cliff Stearns (R-FL))

Rep. Adrian Smith (R-NE)

Rep. Jeb Hensarling (R-TX)

Rep. Brett Guthrie (R-KY)

Rep. Randy Forbes (R-VA)

Rep. Erik Paulsen (R-MN)

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