Governor Christie Vetoes A2795, Planned Parenthood Funding Bill

Update: 9/9/2014 – Governor Christie vetoed Bill A2795. Please call the Governor to thank him at 609-292-6000 or 609-292-6000.

Take action to oppose A2795/S1203, that provides Medicaid coverage for family planning services to individuals with incomes up to 200 percent of the federal poverty level. A2795/S1203 passed both houses at the end of June. The bill is sitting on the Governor’s desk.

Please email and call Governor Christie to urge him to veto A2795/S1203.This bill will use our tax dollars to provide a financial boondoggle to Planned Parenthood, the nation’s largest abortion provider.

Governor Christie: 609-292-6000 or 609-292-6000

You can mail Governor Christie here. Select “Health” from the drop down menu.

Message for Governor: Please veto A2795/S1203. I don’t want my tax dollars used for this purpose.

NJ Judge Moves to Revoke Abortionist Steven Brigham’s License

South Jersey-based abortion provider Steven Brigham, who has spent much of his two-decade career fighting charges of misconduct and negligence, suffered a major blow Thursday in his bid to keep his medical license in New Jersey.

An administrative judge recommended permanent revocation of Brigham’s medical privileges, which were suspended almost four years ago after one of his patients was critically injured during a botched abortion.

If the New Jersey Board of Medical Examiners upholds the judge’s decision, Brigham, 57, will lose his eight clinics in that state, which have continued to operate and make up the bulk of his multistate business, called American Women’s Services.

Brigham’s “past conduct is troubling,” Judge Jeff S. Masin wrote in an 86-page decision. “He has suffered license revocations. He has run afoul of the licensing authorities in New York, Pennsylvania and Florida. He has a conviction for failure to file income taxes. And here, he has demonstrated a willingness to play fast and loose with the law in Maryland.”

Neither Brigham nor his lawyer, Joseph M. Gorrell, returned calls requesting comment.

In hearings before Masin last fall and winter, New Jersey prosecutors presented evidence that Brigham – who has never been licensed in Maryland – used a bistate abortion scheme so he could perform late-term abortions for which his New Jersey clinics were not licensed or equipped.

Brigham induced fetal death in his Voorhees clinic; a few days later, he surgically removed the fetuses at a clinic in Elkton, Md. – a facility so clandestine that even patients were not told where they were going until the last minute.

The scheme came to light in August 2010 because the 18-year-old patient who was critically injured, and the doctor who performed emergency surgery on her at a Baltimore hospital, went to Elkton police.

Masin concluded that Brigham’s practice of inducing fetal death in Voorhees was not illegal because the wording of New Jersey’s regulation is ambiguous. But Masin came down on Brigham for his “unlawful practice of medicine in the state of Maryland.”

Masin dismissed Brigham’s defense that he was acting as a medical “consultant,” which would have been permitted under Maryland’s law. Brigham claimed the clinic was run by the man he hired as medical director – George Shepard, an 88-year-old Delaware obstetrician-gynecologist who was partly disabled by a stroke.

Maryland never went after Brigham for illegally practicing medicine. Instead, the state charged him with murdering viable fetuses found at the Elkton clinic. Maryland has a law recognizing viable fetuses as murder victims, although the statute had been used only in cases in which a pregnant woman was murdered or assaulted.

Maryland prosecutors dropped the charges in 2012, acknowledging that they lacked jurisdiction because the fetal deaths occurred in New Jersey.

This is the second time in Brigham’s career that New Jersey prosecutors have tried to yank his license for performing bistate abortions that severely injured several patients. However, in the early 1990s, the abortions that Brigham initiated in his New Jersey clinics were completed in a New York facility.

Brigham lost his New York license as a result. But in New Jersey, an administrative judge ultimately concluded that Brigham’s only legal violation was advertising “painless” abortions. The Board of Medical Examiners chose not to overrule the judge.

Brigham tried to argue that New Jersey was barred from punishing him this time around because he was exonerated in 1996.

Jeri Warhaftig, the N.J. deputy attorney general who was involved at the end of the prosecution of Brigham in the 1990s, faced him again this time around. She pounded him for a history of deception, and for his attempts to portray himself as a victim of anti-abortion activism.

“His desire to create a [victim] persona . . . has blinded him to his lack of qualifications,” she wrote in legal papers.

The Board of Medical Examiners, which has given both sides until Sept. 15 to respond to Masin’s ruling, will then hear oral arguments from the attorneys and issue a final ruling.

Under New Jersey law, Brigham will not be allowed to own medical clinics in the state if he loses his medical privileges, both sides agreed during the hearings.

That is not the rule, however, in other states. American Women’s Services has two clinics in Virginia, where Brigham is not licensed, and one in Florida, where his license was revoked.

In Pennsylvania, Brigham gave up his license in 1992 amid an investigation. He was barred in 2010 from owning abortion clinics in the state due to a history of hiring unqualified medical workers.

In Maryland, Brigham’s Elkton storefront is gone, but four other American Women’s Services clinics are offering appointments.
Read more at: www.philly.com/philly/news/new_jersey/20140822…

Advocates Shun ‘Pro-Choice’ to Expand Message

CHOICE-master675WASHINGTON — For all the talk about women’s issues in this year’s midterm election campaigns, something is missing. One of the most enduring labels of modern politics — pro-choice — has fallen from favor, a victim of changed times and generational preferences.

That shift might seem surprising in this political season, when there has been a renewed focus on reproductive issues like access to abortion and birth control. Yet advocates say that the term pro-choice, which has for so long been closely identified with abortion, does not reflect the range of women’s health and economic issues now being debated.

Nor, they add, does it speak to a new generation of young women, who tell pollsters that they reject political labels — not least one that dates back four decades, to the Supreme Court’s Roe v. Wade decision that established a constitutional right to abortion.

“The labels we’ve always used about pro-choice and pro-life — they’re outdated and they don’t mean anything,” said Janet Colm, 62, president of Planned Parenthood Action Fund of Central North Carolina, as she prepared to take several younger women to a summer protest at the legislature in Raleigh. “I used to be a one-issue voter” — pro-choice — “but I think most younger people today aren’t.”

No pithy phrase has replaced pro-choice. Activists talk mainly of “women’s health” and “economic security,” usually with policy specifics.

“You just have to take more words,” said Dawn Laguens, the executive vice president of the political-advocacy arm of Planned Parenthood and an early proponent of a broader message.

Anti-abortion activists have noticed that their opponents have all but stopped saying pro-choice, and they count that as a victory.

“I find it very encouraging that they find that after 40 years they have to do something different because they know it’s not working,” said Carol Tobias, the president of the National Right to Life Committee.

Just as longtime activists and historians of the abortion movement cannot cite a moment when pro-choice became advocates’ preferred label, current leaders of women’s organizations cannot pinpoint when it began losing popularity. It has been gradual, they say, prompted by politics and poll findings back to 2010, the year President Obama’s Affordable Care Act became law and Republicans subsequently made gains in Congress and state capitals. Since then Republicans have spent a good deal of energy attacking the law, its birth control mandate, Planned Parenthood and Democrats’ economic agenda for women.

The change “is something that we have been talking about for several years,” said Cecile Richards, the president of Planned Parenthood Federation of America. “I just think the ‘pro-choice’ language doesn’t really resonate particularly with a lot of young women voters. We’re really trying to focus on, what are the real things you’re going to lose? Sometimes that’s rights. Sometimes that’s economic or access to health care for you or for your kids.”

Pro-choice became commonplace after the 1973 Roe ruling, to counter the pro-life label of the anti-abortion movement. The description was seen as having broader appeal than “pro-abortion,” since it fit those who were personally against abortion but opposed any government control over women’s health decisions.

“ ‘Choice’ has been extraordinarily successful as a frame for the abortion-rights side because a lot of Americans may not like the idea of abortion but they definitely agree with the idea of choice,” said Suzanne Staggenborg, a professor at the University of Pittsburgh who researches social movements. “And they agree that it should be a woman’s choice in consultation with her doctor.”

But by 2010 some abortion-rights activists began to sense in their outreach to young women, whose support was needed not only for the midterm elections but for the movement’s future as well, that the term pro-choice was virtually meaningless. That was confirmed by postelection polls and focus groups that women’s organizations and Democrats commissioned to understand what went wrong.

Among the findings, according to several people familiar with them: Many young women, when asked whether they were pro-choice or pro-life, said pro-life. Yet they supported the Roe ruling. Explaining the contradiction, Ms. Laguens said these self-described pro-life voters were “talking about their personal decision-making, for themselves, and not about what they want to push on others.”

But such results also showed the weakness of the pro-choice label, advocates and pollsters said. Planned Parenthood took the lead, conducting research on public attitudes throughout 2011 and then presenting the findings to allies in various meetings.

“It definitely was a bit destabilizing when we started,” Ms. Laguens said. When Planned Parenthood produced a YouTube video last year for supporters on the shift to a broader message, one member wrote online: “I’m pro-choice and I won’t be bullied into saying anything different. This is nothing but a retreat and a shame!”

Representative Louise M. Slaughter, Democrat of New York, who for 15 years has been a co-chairwoman of the Pro-Choice Caucus in Congress, scoffed at the idea of a name change. “I’ve never worried about it,” she said.

Emily’s List, a political fund-raising organization formed three decades ago to back female candidates who support abortion rights, still says on its website’s home page, “We ignite change by getting pro-choice Democratic women elected to office.” But its research arm, American Women, like Planned Parenthood, has also done extensive polling and recently produced a “tool kit” for candidates and activists — customized for each state — of economic policies for women, including paid leave, higher minimum wage, equal pay for women and men for equivalent work, and birth control coverage. (“Birth control is only a social issue if you’ve never had to pay for it,” advocates often say, to highlight the economic angle.)

The broadened message from women’s groups coincided with — and, they say, was hastened by — Republicans’ actions after taking control of the House and some state legislatures in the 2010 elections. Congressional Republicans sought to defund Planned Parenthood, threatening a government shutdown. Then they began their campaign to repeal the Affordable Care Act, which includes specific benefits for women — mandated coverage of contraception, mammograms and annual gynecological exams without co-payments; an end to an insurance industry rating system that charged women more than men, and a ban on insurers refusing to cover people with pre-existing conditions.

Republicans singled out the birth control benefit of the Affordable Care Act as a violation of employers’ religious freedom. They proposed “personhood” amendments defining life as starting at conception, which would criminalize not only abortion but also some fertility treatments. And they blocked economic proposals like equal pay.

“When you really look at the broad scope of all the Republicans’ attacks,” said Marcy Stech, a spokeswoman for Emily’s List, “it’s clear ‘women’s health’ is what’s at stake.”

Updated 6/26/14: NJ Assisted Suicide Bill Pulled from Assembly Board List Due to Lack of Votes

6/26/2014: Lacking votes, bill A2270 was pulled from the Board List. Thanks to all who acted on our alerts!

Please continue to contact your legislators to urge them to vote No on A2270! Please go to our Legislative action center to continue to take action on this matter. The sponsor said he would try to put this bill up for a vote again in the fall. See the article here: www.nj.com/politics/index.ssf/2014/06/aid_in_dying_bill…


Updated 6/25/2014 – Assisted Suicide Bill, A2270, scheduled for a Vote in the Assembly tomorrow, June 26 at 1 p.m!  Go to our Legislative Action Center now and take action! Call your two Assembly members and urge them to Vote No on A2270. Do this even if you have already done so. Please also plan to come down to Trenton tomorrow. See our Legislative Action page for more details and information.


Updated 6/24/2014 – Join in Our Call In Campaign Today. Go to our Legislative Action Page now and follow directions. Thank you.


On June 5, 2014, the NJ Assembly Health and Senior Services committee released Bill A2270 from committee by a vote of 8-4 along party lines. The bill was amended to change the name from the NJ Death with Dignity Act to the NJ Aid in Dying for the Terminally ill. The referendum language was also removed so it will not be a question that will go before the voters at election time. It still has the same bill number, which is A2270. All Democrats voted in favor and all Republicans voted against it. The bill is expected to be scheduled for a vote by the full Assembly before the end of June.

Please contact your two Assembly members and State senator immediately and tell them to vote NO on A2270/S382. Please also email and call Governor Christie and urge him to veto this bill. The Governor’s office can be reached at 609 292-6000609 292-6000.

If you do not know who your two Assembly members, call the Office of Legislative Services at 1-800-792-8630 and 1-800-792-8630 during regular business hours. Provide your name, town and zip code to obtain this information and ask for the name and contact information for your two assembly members.You can also go to the Legislative Action button on our website to take action.

Please act now. Time is of the essence!

Here is a recent TV news clip regarding the bill.

www.wfmz.com/news/news-regional-newjersey/New-Jersey-Aid-in-Dying…

Below are links two articles on the hearing:

www.thedailyjournal.com/story/news/local/new-jersey/2014/06/05/nj-lawmaker…

www.njspotlight.com/stories/14/06/05/statement-of-end-of-life…

See How Your Senators & Two Assembly Members Voted on Flawed Adoption Bill

On Monday, May 12, the NJ Senate voted on the Governor’s conditional Veto of S873. Below is the vote tally. Please call and thank the Senators who voted No on the conditional veto. NJRTL is opposed to the Governor’s conditional veto of S873 because it will discourage adoptions and encourage abortions.

Sen.    5/12/2014  –  CONCUR GOV REC   –  Yes {29}  No {5}  Not Voting {6}    –  Roll Call

Addiego, Dawn Marie – Yes Allen, Diane B. – Yes Barnes, Peter J., III – Yes
Bateman, Christopher – Yes Beach, James – Yes Beck, Jennifer – Yes
Bucco, Anthony R. – No Cardinale, Gerald – No Codey, Richard J. – Yes
Connors, Christopher J. – Not Voting Cunningham, Sandra B. – Yes Doherty, Michael J. – No
Gill, Nia H. – Yes Gordon, Robert M. – Yes Greenstein, Linda R. – Yes
Holzapfel, James W. – Not Voting Kean, Thomas H., Jr. – Yes Kyrillos, Joseph M., Jr. – Not Voting
Lesniak, Raymond J. – Yes Madden, Fred H., Jr. – Not Voting Norcross, Donald – Yes
O’Toole, Kevin J. – Yes Oroho, Steven V. – No Pennacchio, Joseph – No
Pou, Nellie – Yes Rice, Ronald L. – Yes Ruiz, M. Teresa – Yes
Sacco, Nicholas J. – Yes Sarlo, Paul A. – Yes Scutari, Nicholas P. – Yes
Singer, Robert W. – Yes Smith, Bob – Yes Stack, Brian P. – Yes
Sweeney, Stephen M. – Yes Thompson, Samuel D. – Not Voting Turner, Shirley K. – Not Voting
Van Drew, Jeff – Yes Vitale, Joseph F. – Yes Weinberg, Loretta – Yes
Whelan, Jim – Yes

On Thursday, May 27, 2014, the NJ Assembly voted on the Governor’s conditional veto of S873.  Below is the tally. Please see below to find out how your two Assembly members voted.   Please call and thank the Assembly members who voted No on the conditional veto.

Asm.  5/22/2014  –  CONCUR GOV REC   –  Yes {56}  No {19}  Not Voting {2}  Abstains {3}

Benson, Daniel R. – Yes Bramnick, Jon M. – Yes Brown, Chris A. – Yes
Brown, Christopher J. – Yes Bucco, Anthony M. – No Burzichelli, John J. – Yes
Caputo, Ralph R. – Yes Caride, Marlene – No Carroll, Michael Patrick – No
Casagrande, Caroline – No Chivukula, Upendra J. – Yes Ciattarelli, Jack M. – Yes
Clifton, Robert D. – No Conaway, Herb, Jr. – No Coughlin, Craig J. – Yes
Cryan, Joseph – Yes Dancer, Ronald S. – Abstain DeAngelo, Wayne P. – Yes
DeCroce, BettyLou – No DiMaio, John – No Diegnan, Patrick J., Jr. – Yes
Egan, Joseph V. – Yes Eustace, Timothy J. – Yes Fiocchi, Samuel L. – Yes
Fuentes, Angel – Yes Garcia, Carmelo G. – Yes Giblin, Thomas P. – Yes
Gove, DiAnne C. – No Green, Jerry – Yes Greenwald, Louis D. – Yes
Gusciora, Reed – Yes Handlin, Amy H. – Yes Jasey, Mila M. – Yes
Jimenez, Angelica M. – Yes Johnson, Gordon M. – Yes Kean, Sean T. – No
Lagana, Joseph A. – Yes Lampitt, Pamela R. – Not Voting Mainor, Charles – Yes
Mazzeo, Vincent – Yes McGuckin, Gregory P. – Yes McHose, Alison Littell – No
McKeon, John F. – Yes Moriarty, Paul D. – Yes Mosquera, Gabriela M. – Yes
Mukherji, Raj – Yes Munoz, Nancy F. – Yes O’Donnell, Jason – Yes
O’Scanlon, Declan J., Jr. – Yes Oliver, Sheila Y. – Yes Peterson, Erik – No
Pinkin, Nancy J. – Yes Pintor Marin, Eliana – Yes Prieto, Vincent – Yes
Quijano, Annette – Yes Rible, David P. – No Riley, Celeste M. – Yes
Rodriguez-Gregg, Maria – Yes Rumana, Scott T. – No Rumpf, Brian E. – No
Russo, David C. – No Schaer, Gary S. – Yes Schepisi, Holly – Yes
Simon, Donna M. – Abstain Singleton, Troy – Yes Space, Parker – No
Spencer, L. Grace – Yes Stender, Linda – Yes Sumter, Shavonda E. – Not Voting
Tucker, Cleopatra G. – Yes Vainieri Huttle, Valerie – Yes Watson Coleman, Bonnie – Yes
Webber, Jay – No Wilson, Gilbert L. – Yes Wimberly, Benjie E. – Yes
Wisniewski, John S. – Yes Wolfe, David W. – Yes

Flawed Adoption Bill Signed into Law

On May 27, 2014, Governor Christie signed S873 into law. This bill was not a “compromise” as it was touted, but a one-sided unfair measure that will result in fewer adoptions and more abortions.

On May 22, the NJ Assembly passed the measure to concur with the Governor’s Conditional Veto of the adoption bill. Although the bill was signed into law,  we thank the Senators and Assembly members who stood on principle and said no to this flawed, unfair measure. We have posted the Senate vote on this website and will post the Assembly vote as soon as it becomes available. The pro-life movement in NJ will need to redouble and increase our efforts to try to combat the expected rise in the number of abortions that will occur once this law goes into effect, August 1, 2015.

Please click here to see how your State Senator and two Assembly members voted. Please remember how your legislators voted on this measure at election time. A yes vote is a pro-abortion vote and a no vote is a pro-life vote. Thank you.

Read article

Update: On April 28, 2014, news media reported that Governor Christie struck a “deal” with Democratic leaders and issued a conditional veto of Bill S783. This conditional veto is very different than the one he issued three years ago. It will eliminate the option of privacy in all future adoptions and does not adequately protect the identity of birth mothers who wish to remain private and gave up children for adoption in the past.

The Other Right to Privacy
Pa. and N.J. are poised to weaken adoption confidentiality.

If ever I should run for president — angels and ministers of grace defend us! — I would have a potential birther problem. I cannot get a copy of my original birth certificate without a court order. That is, in my view, a good thing: I was born during the Nixon administration, at the gloaming of American decency, just about three months (call it a “trimester”) before Harry Blackmun pulled a magic constitutional bunny out from underneath his robes and created a constitutional right to surgically dismember people in my position, which at the time was in the womb of a teenage girl not much inclined to raise a child but not yet legally empowered to kill one. Gather ’round, young ones, while the graybeard tells you about the ancient days when there was a stigma attached to bearing a child out of wedlock.

That stigma was ameliorated in part by the practice of adoption, and, more specifically, by the practice of sealed adoption. While adoption practices have always been varied, the most common model of adoption at the time was the sign-the-papers-and-done adoption, a legal transaction that in practice offered all the finality of an abortion without the attendant bloodshed. There are and always have been other kinds of adoptions — open adoptions, intra-familial adoptions, etc. — and each experience is different. That said, it seems to me that in the great majority of cases, anonymous, sealed adoptions are obviously and unquestionably better for the children, who are spared the drama and confusion that often results from ongoing entanglements between biological parents and adoptive ones, and it’s probably better for both sets of parents, too. Many of those who relinquish children for adoption are very young, and they go on to have lives in which the adopted child plays no role — and families who may not even know that the child exists.

Pennsylvania and New Jersey are about to screw that up. Seven other states have already done so.

Both Pennsylvania and New Jersey are considering laws that would unseal previously sealed adoption records, stripping away guarantees of confidentiality that almost certainly were in many cases a critical consideration. The state legislature in New Jersey already has passed its version of the law, which awaits only the governor’s signature, and Pennsylvania’s legislature is widely expected to follow.

There is a great deal of mush-headedness related to the issue of adoption. A less sentimental and more realistic view is that the relationship between biological parent and biological child is precisely that: biological. It’s of no more real significance than the relationship between organ donors and recipients. But we live under the tyranny of pop psychology, and the promise of a life-changing “reunion” – as though there could be a reunion between people who have never truly met — holds a certain promise to people who believe that something is missing in their lives, a hole in the soul that can be filled only by somebody with whom one shares half of one’s DNA.

What the sentimentalists ignore is that there are a great many biological parents who do not wish to have any sort of relationship with their offspring, and a great many biological children who share the sentiment. For those who feel otherwise, there already is a straightforward method used in many states to connect those who wish to be connected: A biological parent or child may register his desire for such connection with a database, and, in the event one of the counterparties also desires such connection, the connection is made. It’s pretty straightforward, and does not require violating the confidentiality of those who wish to maintain it.

When a biological child attempts to reenter the life of a biological parent, or vice versa, it can be pretty ugly when the desire to do so is one-sided. R. tells the story of her biological mother tracking her down late in life, to disastrous consequence.

I was 35 years old, and, after ten years of marriage and five years of infertility treatment, I was considering adoption myself. With no warning, my father died of a heart attack out of nowhere, and ten days later, after I had just sent the last thank-you note for funeral cards, I get a phone call out of the blue. He asks my name and says, “You don’t know me, but I feel like I know you — you’re my wife’s first-born child.” My response was: “How the hell did you get my phone number?”

It turns out that there was quite a back story to her question, not all of it obviously legal. “I had a sealed adoption in the 1950s,” she says. “You couldn’t get at those records with a jackhammer.” R. made it clear that she did not wish to have any sort of relationship with her biological mother – or the half-siblings who had come later — but they were persistent. She ended up having to threaten legal action to end the unwanted attention.

The press for opening up confidential adoption records began with a demand, not unreasonable, for access to family medical histories, which are valuable but increasingly less relevant in an age of genetic testing. (I recently underwent a round of genetic analysis myself and was shocked by the range of things that can be easily tested for.) But this is the United States of America, where a just-the-facts-ma’am family medical history is entirely insufficient to the therapeutic demands of the culture. The myth of the “missing piece” will not be put down.

Adoption is an admirable act, even a heroic one on occasion — on both sides. The majority of adoptions undertaken today contain a degree of openness or instruments by which connection can be established if it is desired. But a significant number do not. Biological parents seeking an arrangement that promisesfinality have at the moment two choices. Take away confidentiality and they will have only one: Justice Blackmun’s legacy of brutality. The arrangement is an imperfect one for adopted children, and I sympathize with their feelings even if I do not share them. But it could be worse. Much worse. As trade-offs go, we who were adopted were the recipients of an excellent deal.

— Kevin D. Williamson is roving correspondent for National Review.

Stand Up for Religious Freedom – Support #HobbyLobbyDay Saturday, March 29!

Hobby Lobby Day is Saturday, March 29, 2014!   Hobby Lobby will go before the U.S. Supreme Court on March 25, 2014 to challenge the Obamacare mandate.  Read more

Please click on this link for more information to see how you can support Hobby Lobby!

Below is a list of Hobby Lobby Stores in NJ. Don’t forget to shop Hobby Lobby on Saturday, March 29th to show your support!

Hobby Lobby Stores located in NJ:

6801 Hadley Road
South Plainfield, NJ 07080
908-412-6236
Directions | Store Hours

120 Route 9 North
Marlboro, NJ 07726
732-591-8290
Directions | Store Hours

3360 Brunswick Pike
Lawrenceville, NJ 08648
609-936-3792
Directions | Store Hours

2225 N. 2nd Street
Millville, NJ 08332
856-825-0535
Directions | Store Hours

 

New Hampshire Lower House Soundly Rejects Death with Dignity Legislation

CONCORD — The House Thursday soundly rejected legislation that would have allowed a terminally ill patient to seek a lethal prescription from cooperating physicians.

Under House Bill 1325, the “Death with Dignity Act,” the patient must have received a prognosis of six months or less to live by two physicians. The vote against the bill was 219-66.

But the House approved establishing a new seven-member committee to study “end-of-life” decisions and the state’s medical directive law. The vote to pass House Bill 1226 was 162-126.

The “end-of-life” committee would also investigate “the positive and negative effects of legislation in states that have enacted aid-in-dying laws,” and “how to encourage careful and responsible deliberation about this complex and emotional issue.”

Chief proponent Rep. Rich Watrous, D-Concord, maintained that as the state is “rapidly aging, and modern medicine becomes more intrusive, end-of-life care should be periodically examined by the Legislature so that our citizens maintain control over their lives and determine what medicine and procedures they wish to receive.”

On the “Death With Dignity” lethal prescription bill, opponents said assisted suicide is the “incorrect approach” to dealing with the terminally ill and could lead to abuse of the elderly and disabled.

But prime sponsor Rep. Joel Winters, D-Nashua, said everyone has a right to determine “the rendering of their own medical care.”

He said it was based on Oregon legislation that has been in effect for about 15 years and said his bill contained several “protections” to prevent abuse.

“The point is to allow someone who is suffering a choice,” Winters said. Once the prescription drug is obtained, he said, “They can choose each and every day whether they want to go on.”

But Rep. Lenette Peterson, R-Merrimack, said the bill would provide “a new deadly avenue for predators and could lead to a convenient termination a life so that imperfections, consequences and conflict” can result in a person’s death.

“Other people would eventually be deciding whether you should live or not,” Peterson said.

“Death is not a treatment,” Peterson said. “Doctors take an oath and that oath does not include killing their patients.”

Rep. Robert Rowe, R-Amherst, said the bill was fraught with problems.

“When the fatal prescription is prescribed, who will pick it up?” he asked. “And if the person who receives it decides not to use it, where do these drugs go? They could go into your medicine cabinet.”

The “end of life” committee bill will require recommendations by Sept. 1, which Peterson said was too soon for such complex and important questions.

But Watrous said the time frame is adequate. He said the Legislature occasionally studies such issues “and it is time to do so again.”