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    AmP Countdown: Time left to demand that Congress make health care reform pro-life: 2009-11-07 18:00:00 GMT-05:00

    Tuesday, January 13, 2009

    {Updated} Who started the FOCA novena?

    A novena petition to prevent the passing of FOCA has been spreading like wildfire via email. A facebook group dedicated to the novena has almost 30,000 members. In one twist, an Irish representative has been receiving flak for forwarding the email to her constituents. I've received the forward multiple times myself.

    {update: I should hasten to add - because I forgot this is not evident to everyone - that the novena email below contains a severe factual error - FOCA is not scheduled to be voted on or signed around January 21-22 or anytime in the foreseeable future. The bill doesn't have the needed votes.}

    The basic text of the forward looks like this:

    If you are opposed to abortion then there is bad news on the horizon. For those of you who do not know, the Freedom of Choice Act (FOCA) is set to be signed if congress passes it on January 21-22 of 2009. The FOCA is the next sick chapter in the book of abortion... [snip]

    ... Perhaps most importantly the government will now have control in the issue of abortion. This could result in a future amendment that would force women by law to have abortions in certain situations (rape, down syndrome babies, etc) and could even regulate how many children women are allowed to have.

    Needless to say this information is disturbing, but sadly true. As Catholics, as Christians, as anyone who is against the needless killing of innocent children, we must stand as one. We must stop this horrific act before it becomes a law.

    The Plan: To say a novena (9 days of prayer) along with fasting starting on January 11th (even if you're beginning this late, please join!). The prayer of choice will be the rosary with intentions to stop the FOCA. The hope is that this will branch and blossom as to become a global effort with maximum impact.

    My question is - who started this? One report identifies a "Fr. Tom", another says it was "Lord Alton." No proof for either author is given.

    Obviously, the petition is generating a considerable amount of traction and I would be interested to see how it caught on, and who first set the ball rolling. This sort of grassroots organization is admirable and will no doubt be useful in the future for similar initiatives.

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