27 Feb 2009

Catholic church in American Samoa urges Faleomavaega to oppose abortion law

2:38 pm on 27 February 2009

The leader of the Catholic Church in American Samoa has written to the territory's Congressman urging him to make it clear that local residents oppose the Freedom of Choice Act.

Bishop John Quinn Weitzel says the Act, which has the support of United States President Barack Obama, will eliminate existing restrictions on abortion.

The Bishop says he emailed a letter yesterday to Congressman Faleomavaega Eni Hunkin asking him to alert congress members to the severity of the legislation.

"We felt that it was important that the man who represents us in Congress know that the Catholic population in American Samoa, along with many of our brothers and sisters of other faiths would not be happy with this law going into effect."

Bishop Quinn Weitzel says if the legislation is passed, people in American Samoa will have to go along with something that's against their conscience.

But our correspondent Monica Miller says abortion is illegal in American Samoa, and there would be no obligation for the self-governing territory to adopt the law.