Catholics: Bury FOCA or pay consequences

It sounds almost unthinkable: Roman Catholic hospitals like Provena Saint Joseph in Elgin and St. Alexius in Hoffman Estates closing down their obstetrics units completely. Yet that’s what Roman Catholic leaders threaten to do if the long-discussed Freedom of Choice Act is passed into law and if — even Catholic officials admit, a big if — courts rule that its provisions prevent a hospital OB unit or an obstetrician from refusing to allow abortions. But that’s all much ado about nothing, backers of the FOCA respond. For one thing, they point out, no FOCA bill has even been introduced into the current Congress after previous efforts to pass the law in 2004 and 2007 died in committee.