It’s the last week of the session, and things are happening quickly. Thanks for staying engaged and taking action!
On Sunday, there were two big developments on bills that we’ve been telling you about.
ASSISTED SUICIDE. First, the Senate Judiciary Committee met for several hours on Sunday and heard House Bill 47, which would legalize assisted suicide in New Mexico. Family Policy Alliance was one of four groups allowed to testify against the bill in the minimal time allowed.
It was clear that the hundreds of emails you sent through our Action Center – plus countless phone calls to key senators – made a difference. For a time, it appeared that the bill might be defeated in the committee. But one of the senators with strong concerns about the bill ultimately voted to allow the bill to go to the Senate floor, where he will attempt to address some of its major problems. With his vote, the bill passed committee, 5-3.
Despite the fact that it only passed committee last night, it could be voted on by the full Senate as early as today!
Your action is needed!
- Please take five minutes to call these key senators and leave a simple message asking them to vote NO on assisted suicide (HB47):
- Senator Campos: (505) 397-8818
- Senator Ivey-Soto: (505) 397-8830
- Senator Munoz: (505) 397-8836
- Senator Pinto: (505) 397-8841
- Senator Rodriguez: (505) 397-8844
- Senator Shendo: (505) 397-8849
- Please also take 30 seconds to send a message to your senator – even if you have done so previously.
RECREATIONAL POT. Thank you to the hundreds of you who also reached out to the Senate committee that was scheduled to hear the bill to fully legalize Big Marijuana in New Mexico. Yesterday, at the last minute, that bill (House Bill 12) was moved to the Senate Judiciary Committee, where it may be considered today or tomorrow.
That move to a new committee is likely an indication that your messages were making a difference! But now Senate Judiciary needs to hear from New Mexicans who are concerned about the Colorado-style damage that this bill will inflict on our state!
Please take a moment to urge the Senate Judiciary Committee to oppose recreational marijuana (HB12). When you send a message, it will also include your own senator, even if they aren’t on the committee.
From the elderly and infirm (assisted suicide) to vulnerable young people (Big Marijuana), these attacks devalue life and must be fought. Thanks again for standing firm and taking action!
The Family Policy Alliance of New Mexico Team
Callousness and disrespect for life takes many forms, and this year at the Roundhouse, we’re seeing it at both ends of life.
In regard to life in the womb, hundreds of you have used our Action Center to send messages urging the Governor to veto the radical abortion bill. Thank you.
Today, we’re appealing to you to speak out about a bill that disrespects the lives of the sick and the elderly.
House Bill 47 legalizes assisted suicide in New Mexico. Virtually identical bills have been defeated in the past here, but after last fall’s elections, the outcome of this bill could go either way.
After passing the House last week, HB47 is now headed for a hearing in the Senate Judiciary Committee – and it’s URGENT that we prevent this bill from going any further.
Here is what you can do to make the biggest difference in stopping this deadly bill:
- Take a few moments to call (anytime day or night) and leave a message for these three key senators on the Senate Judiciary Committee. Ask them to vote NO on HB47, the assisted suicide bill.
- Sen. Bill O’Neill: (505) 397-8838
- Sen. Daniel Ivey-Soto: (505) 397-8830
- Sen. Joseph Cervantes: (505) 397-8820
- After making these calls (which are most important), also take 30 seconds to send a message to the entire committee, urging them to reject assisted suicide.
There are many reasons why assisted suicide is a tragic mistake. Here are three:
- Assisted suicide gives insurance companies and governments the ability to save money by pushing lethal drugs that are less expensive than treatment. This has happened in Oregon and California where patients were refused coverage for life-saving treatment and offered lethal drugs instead.
- A six-month prognosis for death is extremely difficult to predict accurately, with many patients living far beyond the six months. A major study of physician prognoses in Chicago revealed that of 468 predictions, only 20 percent were accurate in predicting when death would occur.
- No trained medical personnel are required to be present at the time the lethal drugs are taken or at the time of death, creating the opportunity for an heir or abusive caregiver to coerce the patient to take the deadly drugs or put them in the patient’s food without the patient’s knowledge or consent.Source: Patients Rights Action Fund
In addition, New Mexico is home to one of the largest Hispanic populations, as well as one of the largest indigenous populations in the nation. Physician-assisted suicide contributes to the continued unfair access to equal healthcare for disadvantaged and vulnerable populations.
That’s why the League of United Latin American Citizens states:
“The practice of distributing a pharmaceutical poison to the medically dependent and emotionally vulnerable, particularly where individuals and families are financially burdened by severe illness and not provided access to appropriate palliative care and caregiver supports, is unconscionable.”
The assisted suicide bill will soon be heard by the Senate Judiciary Committee. Please call and leave messages at the numbers above as soon as possible – and then spread the word to other New Mexicans who care about upholding life.
Thanks for speaking up and making a difference!
The Family Policy Alliance of New Mexico Team
The pro-death folks are at it again, and your voice is needed to stop them!
Once again, Maryland legislators have brought forward a bill to legalize assisted suicide. This bill (SB 701) will be heard in the Senate Judicial Proceedings Committee on Friday afternoon.
This assisted-suicide bill will allow doctors to prescribe a lethal dose of drugs to anyone who has been “qualified” to end their own life. The so-called “protections” in these bills are weak, leaving our most vulnerable people – the disabled, the mentally ill and our teens – at higher risk for abuse.
Sadly, suicide tends to generate copycats among the emotionally vulnerable via a phenomenon called suicide contagion, where one suicide leads to many. Suicide is already the second leading cause of death for teens, and suicides among veterans far outnumber combat fatalities.
This bill sends a very bad message to our most vulnerable teens and veterans – that suicide is okay in some instances.
We need your help to encourage the senators on the committee to vote NO on assisted suicide. In just 30 seconds, you can send a message to all of the committee members – that in Maryland every life is worth fighting for.
Thank you for speaking up for life!
The Family Policy Alliance Team
P.S. Please spread the word and forward this information to family and friends using the share button below so they can make their voice heard, too!
Our Christian Civic League of Maine allies report that the battle over assisted suicide has now moved to the Governor’s office as the House of Representatives approved it by one vote (73 to 72) on Monday.
We let you know late last week that this critical vote was going to happen and many of you took action over the weekend. Now, Physician-Assisted Suicide (LD1313) is headed to the Governor’s desk and we need you to act once more asking her to veto the bill.
Here is that you need to know about this legislation
- LD 1313 lacks necessary safeguards and endangers the weak and marginalized in society.
- LD 1313 will change the culture in which medicine is practiced. It changes the medical profession by permitting the tools of healing to be used as techniques for killing. In essence, it distorts the Physician-Patient Relationship.
- LD 1313 undermines social solidarity and true compassion. It changes how we view disabled and elderly family members and how we will look at them in the future…how they will look at themselves.
Physician-Assisted Suicide’s most profound injustice is that it violates human dignity and denies equality before the law. Our culture must believe all people have immeasurable worth and dignity.
Because LD1313 has been sent to Governor Mills for her signature, we need your quick help!
Please call Governor Mills at 207-287-3531 today to encourage her to veto this legislation and send the message that in Maine every life is worth fighting for.
Thanks for making your voice heard!
The Family Policy Alliance Team
I’ll be honest. This is one of the most difficult articles I’ve ever had to write for Family Policy Alliance®. But it’s also one of the most important.
Three years ago, we introduced you to Elizabeth, a wife and mother of two from Minnesota. I first learned about Elizabeth’s story when she bravely testified against an assisted suicide bill in her state. As I got to know Elizabeth and meet her beautiful family, she agreed to share her story with us so that people around the country could learn what it’s like to advocate for your own life.
Elizabeth shared with me that she was an adventurer at heart, and her marriage began with traveling, exploring, skiing, and more. But what she certainly never expected out of life was a brain cancer diagnosis—shortly after her first child, a daughter, was born.
The doctors gave her three to five years to live, and so Elizabeth prayed and asked for the doctors’ help to see her daughter off to her first day of kindergarten.
When I met Elizabeth, her daughter was seven years old. Elizabeth had already outlived her prognosis and even given birth to another child, a son.
Her children, though young, were already full of their parents’ adventurous and fiery spirits. And perhaps what was most remarkable about meeting Elizabeth was her deep understanding about life, suffering, and helping others.
She shared with me the most beautiful words describing every person created in God’s image—worth fighting for and worth advocating for. She said we are all “unique and unrepeatable people.”
And Elizabeth certainly was.
This past weekend, Elizabeth went home to her Savior, with this verse as a final reminder to all of her faithfulness, joy, and the One in whom she placed her hope and trust:
I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Henceforth there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, will award to me on that day, and not only to me but also to all who have loved his appearing. 2 Timothy 4:6-8
Watch Elizabeth tell us her story 3 years ago:
As the Family Policy Alliance team considered how to best honor Elizabeth—and her husband and two young children—we rededicated ourselves to the fight against assisted suicide that led us to Elizabeth and her family in the first place.
Proponents of legalized assisted suicide paint a picture of an easy, painless and dignified way to honor a suffering loved one’s last wishes and say goodbye.
But Elizabeth taught us that every life is worth fighting for—and that our loved ones suffering from serious illnesses deserve far more than abandonment to hopelessness, depression and suicide.
She taught us that people who say they want to end their own lives should receive proper care and intervention—no matter who they are. We should absolutely intervene when the healthy want to end their lives. Those suffering from illness should be treated no differently—not abandoned to suicidal thoughts.
And our medical professionals should continue to be trusted as healers—not complicit in acts of suicide.
If all we can offer those who suffer is a bottle of pills and a stamp of approval on their suicide, we have lost all compassion and dedication to the sanctity of human life.
Elizabeth’s life was worth fighting for till her Savior took her home. And Family Policy Alliance will continue to honor her—and every person who suffers from a serious illness—by fighting for policies that affirm the life and worth of each person. And we will unashamedly oppose efforts to legalize assisted suicide.
Seven states, including New Jersey this year, and D.C. have legalized assisted suicide, and 21 others considered doing so this year.
Thank you, Elizabeth, for helping every person who knew you—and many who didn’t—understand that every life is worth fighting for.
And to your beautiful family, we pray you know your wife and mother was—and continues to be—an inspiration to all. We will never abandon the fight for life, from conception to natural death.
Thank you, Elizabeth.
Vice President of Strategy
P.S. Will you help us honor Elizabeth and her family today? Will you share her video story on your social media using the hashtag #WorthFightingFor or by simply forwarding this email to your friends? We pray Elizabeth continues to inspire countless lives, even from Heaven, and that her impact will be a source of comfort to her husband and children.
As you know, efforts to legalize assisted suicide in New Mexico have been growing in recent years. Following the November election, advocates now believe 2019 will be the year that assisted suicide is passed by the Legislature and signed into law by Governor-Elect Michelle Lujan-Grisham.
People on both sides of this issue agree on one thing—assisted suicide is a serious matter and it should not be addressed lightly. Consequently, Family Policy Alliance of New Mexico has been working with other local allied organizations to help educate the public on the unintended and dangerous consequences of assisted suicide, and the slippery slope we have seen in other states and countries.
Take Canada for instance. Recently, it was reported that just two years after legalizing assisted suicide nationally, physicians from Toronto’s Hospital for Sick Children are already pursuing policies that would extend assisted suicide options to minor children, without parental notification or consent.
You read that right—assisted suicide for children, without parental input!
The unintended consequences of assisted suicide—including death after misdiagnosis and/or inaccurate prognosis; intimidation from family members; and/or abuse from profit-driven insurance companies—should be enough for us to reject this legislation come January. However, if more reason is needed, look to Canada’s slippery slope.
Friends—when a society determines that some lives are not worth living and that assisted suicide is a “dignified” and “compassionate” option, it is only a matter of time before that “option” is extended to more and more individuals.
There is a reason that our State Legislature has rejected this legislation every time it has been presented. There is a reason that the overwhelming majority of other states have consistently rejected this legislation. Because when it comes to caring for those facing serious illness and end of life, we can and should do much better than abandoning them to hopelessness and death.
Instead, let us work together to find solutions that offer genuine compassion and comfortable care to those when they need it most.
Every life is worth fighting for.
President and Executive Director
By Autumn Leva, VP of Strategy for Family Policy Alliance
The American Medical Association (AMA) has had a longstanding position against legalizing assisted suicide because it is “fundamentally incompatibly with the physician’s role as healer.” Instead, the AMA rightly guides its physicians nationwide to “aggressively respond to the needs of patients at the end of life.”
In other words, the AMA supports what we all believe—every life is worth fighting for. And, no one should be abandoned to the hopelessness and lack of true compassion found in assisted suicide. Suicide always comes with a type of “giving up,” and American families don’t want the professionals they trust with their very lives to be in the business of “giving up” on them.
Last year, political activists pushing to legalize assisted suicide pressured the AMA into considering changing their position opposing assisted suicide. The AMA referred the matter to their Ethics committee to compile data, research, and feedback from people like you across the country to help them make their decision.
Family Policy Alliance, our state-based allies, and Focus on the Family joined together to send the AMA two letters asking the AMA to maintain their position opposing assisted suicide and to refuse to allow a form of suicide to be considered “care” for a patient. The letter shared with the AMA many of the points made by Dr. Bolthouse in this video about what assisted suicide means for the medical community. Thousands of you also signed onto the letter to the AMA!
And good news—the AMA’s Ethics Committee listened!
Last week, the AMA’s Ethics Committee produced a report after all their fact-finding on assisted suicide. They ultimately recommend that the AMA continue to oppose assisted suicide—and that doctors continue to work with patients to understand their goals and what brings them meaning at the end of life, and to explore legally available options for care. When the AMA meets in June, the Ethics Committee will present their report and conclusion.
Thank you to all of you who joined in asking America’s doctors to choose caring over killing! This is especially important as we see what is happening in other countries with legal assisted suicide. Switzerland has become the “final tour destination” where assisted suicide is legal for anyone who requests it in writing—not just those diagnosed with “terminal illnesses.” This raises serious questions about pressures that the elderly or frail may face to prematurely end their lives.
Even in the U.S. states that have legalized assisted suicide, men and women have reported insurance companies already declining to cover treatment for serious illnesses like cancer but instead offering to cover the far cheaper assisted suicide drugs—leaving patients with no real choice or hope.
Thank you again for partnering with us to send the letters to the AMA. We thank God that the AMA agreed that every life is worth fighting for! We ask that you continue to join with us in praying that our doctors will continue to stand strong against political pressure. And, we hope you will also join us in working to advance policies in every state that value life and reject suicide.
By Autumn Leva, Vice President of Strategy
In 2016, we shared with you the story of JJ Hanson, the “man of steel,” who served as President of one of Family Policy Alliance’s national allied organizations, Patients Rights Action Fund, fighting against assisted suicide.
JJ was diagnosed with terminal brain cancer in 2014. Rather than choosing the path of assisted suicide that was highly sensationalized by 29-year-old Brittany Maynard who had the same kind of cancer, JJ chose to move past his depression and live every moment with his family.
Through his position with Patients Rights Action Fund, he also devoted his days, not ever knowing how many there would be, to helping lawmakers in states across the country understand the implications of legalizing assisted suicide for patients, for the medical field, for persons with disabilities, and especially for families. He gave his time to providing official testimony, sharing his personal story, and meeting with lawmakers one-on-one to encourage them to oppose any bill that would legalize assisted suicide.
JJ was only supposed to live about four months from his diagnosis in May 2014. He just passed away on December 30th.
Paul Weber, President and CEO for Family Policy Alliance believes JJ’s life greatly influenced our nation and, most importantly, his family: “JJ devoted his last days to his family and to making sure that lawmakers around the country got the message that every life is worth fighting for—what an incredibly legacy for his wife and children. My team and I at Family Policy Alliance send our deepest sympathies and prayers to the Hanson family, and to our friends at Patients Rights Action Fund.”
We pray JJ’s family takes comfort in knowing that despite efforts in nearly 30 states by Compassion & Choices, the leading activist organization attempting to legalize assisted suicide, no state legalized the practice in 2017 (with the exception of D.C.). Family Policy Alliance is committed to making sure that as lawmakers head back to state Capitols in 2018, no bills to legalize assisted suicide advance. We hope you’ll join us in honoring JJ by declaring that every life is worth fighting for.
For more stories about why assisted suicide is bad policy, check out these short videos:
If you’d like to offer condolences to JJ’s family, his wife Kris requested individuals send donations to the Can’t Hurt Steel Community Foundation, PO Box 333, Eldred, NY 12732.
Elizabeth and her family know what it’s like to live with cancer.
The bag full of prescription drugs, the good days and bad days, the priceless value of just being there when her son and daughter hit a new milestone. All of that gives her a unique perspective on the issue of assisted suicide.
It’s a hot topic in state capitols around the country. But her pro-life perspective is often lost in the political posturing.
Before you decide what you think about this important issue, please listen to what she has to say.
Learn more about our Worth Fighting For project.
Learn exactly how God loves you. And discover the value of every life.
Jean Swenson was in a tragic car accident in 1980 that left her paralyzed.
She shares how she found hope in a most unexpected way. And she explains why it’s important to focus on “eliminating the problem, not the patient.”
Learn more about our Worth Fighting For project.