Following the release of a video reportedly depicting a Planned Parenthood executive discussing the sale of body parts from aborted fetuses, Senator Joe Pennacchio joined New Jersey Right to Life Executive Director Marie Tasy in denouncing the abhorrent act. Senator Pennacchio also announced efforts to make sure the practice does not occur in New Jersey.
“Selling body parts from an aborted fetus is a sickening shock to the conscious,” said Pennacchio (R-Morris). “If true, Planned Parenthood’s participation in performing abortions to systematically sell body parts from fetuses represents a level of depravity that’s hard to fathom.”
Senator Pennacchio said he is calling for the State Attorney General’s Office to launch an immediate investigation into whether any of the Planned Parenthood facilities in New Jersey took part in the practice. Senator Pennacchio said he is also reviewing current law in New Jersey regarding the donation of human body parts and tissue for medical research to see whether changes are needed to strengthen prohibitions against selling or profiting from harvested body parts from aborted fetuses.
“This video reveals some shocking admissions that have to be fully investigated and that includes looking into the practices of Planned Parenthood facilities in New Jersey,” said Pennacchio. “This simply can not be allowed to happen in New Jersey. If it’s determined that facilities here took part in illegal activity, those responsible must be held accountable. It’s also important that we make sure New Jersey laws adequately address this issue. There should be no circumstance where a facility can get any financial gain from soliciting abortions or harvesting body parts from aborted fetuses.”
“We wholeheartedly support and commend Senator Pennacchio’s efforts to stop this barbaric practice by Planned Parenthood, the nation’s largest and most profit driven abortion provider,” said Tasy. “Additionally, we call on Congress to defund Planned Parenthood as Governor Christie did in New Jersey and urge New Jersey Democratic Leaders to abandon their yearly blind obsessive attempts to use taxpayer money to fund Planned Parenthood in the state budget.”
Please continue to call, email and meet with your State Senator to urge him/her to Vote No on A2270/S382. Please also call the Governor 609 292 6000 and urge him to veto this bill if it reaches his desk. Thank you.
Senate Bill 128 stalls in Assembly Health Committee
California’s controversial assisted death bill is done for the year, according to the Assembly Health Committee.
In an e-mail to legislative offices, committee secretary Patty Rodgers wrote, “The authors will not pursue this bill this year – waiting on a statement from the authors explaining details and future plans.”
Senate Bill 128 would have allowed doctors to prescribe lethal drugs to terminally ill patients. It passed the Senate last month, but stalled in the Assembly Health Committee two weeks ago over increasing objections from Latino Democrats.
Past attempts to legalize assisted death in California also collapsed, but SB 128’s champions believed that public sentiment had turned in their favor. They also surmounted a major political obstacle when the California Medical Association silenced its longstanding aversion to helping ailing patients die.
But the Catholic Church remained firmly opposed to the bill, arguing that it was an ethical violation. Proponents were not able to sway a majority of members on the Assembly Health Committee, some of whom pointed to personal experiences that counseled them against backing the bill.
“You’ve got to look at what I’ve done before the Legislature … working to help save and protect peoples’ lives, giving that option – a second chance at life,” Assemblyman Freddie Rodriguez, D-Pomona, who worked as an emergency medical technician, said Monday. “Letting folks have that option to end their life, it’s just something I can’t come to grips with.”
Some members denied that religious objections were a decisive factor.
“There are times when I can be in clear policy opposition to the church – clearly with a pro-choice stand as a Democrat, I can say ‘no’ to the church,” Assemblyman Miguel Santiago, D-Los Angeles, a practicing Catholic who once weighed entering the seminary, said on Monday. “It’s more of an internal struggle of how to look at the end of life more than any impact of religious or political” pressure.
Update: On June 29, 2016, Governor Christie vetoed these two bills once again. Call and email Governor Christie to thank him for eliminating these funds in the budget and for consistently vetoing legislation to put these funds back in the budget every year since he took office. Please thank him for vetoing A3672/S3103, and A4604/S3104 again this time. Governor’s phone: 609 292-6000. Email the Governor here.
Use “Health” as topic and “Family Health” as sub-topic. Please take this action immediately. Thank you.
Here we go again. The Democrat Leadership in Trenton is once again pushing to fund their favorite core constituency – the abortion industry! Please see NJRTL’s comments in the bottom of the article (bolded) below, then take immediate action.
Bills A3672/S3103 and A4604/S3104 were released from the Assembly and Senate Budget Committees today and are scheduled to be voted on in the Senate and Assembly this Thursday, June 25th. Please take the following action immediately to oppose these bills.
1. Call and email your State Senator and two Assembly members and tell them to Vote No on Bills A3672/S3103 and A4604/S3104 to fund family planning. Call 1-800-792-8630 to find out the names of your three state legislators.You can also obtain their names and contact information by municipality on this page. You can send an email to them here
2. Call and email Governor Christie to thank him for eliminating these funds in the budget and for consistently vetoing legislation to put these funds back in the budget every year since he took office. Please urge him to veto A3672/S3103, and A4604/S3104 again this time. Governor’s phone: 609 292-6000. Email the Governor here.
Use “Health” as topic and “Family Health” as sub-topic. Please take this action immediately. Thank you.
Christie reversal on why he cut Planned Parenthood funding cuts sparks protest
By Susan K. Livio | NJ Advance Media for NJ.com
on June 22, 2015 at 1:52 PM, updated June 23, 2015 at 7:43 AM
TRENTON — Gov. Chris Christie’s boast that he is the only governor in New Jersey history to eliminate state funding for Planned Parenthood may play in conservative states, but it alienates most New Jerseyans who want women to have access to family planning services, protesters said Monday.
Chanting “My health! My life!” about three dozen women and a few men gathered in the Statehouse courtyard with state Senate Majority Leader Loretta Weinberg (D-Bergen) and Pamela Lampitt (D-Camden) to draw attention to the governor’s remarks last week about cutting $7.5 million in 2010 for women’s health centers.
At the time, the governor said the cuts were driven by a budget crisis, adding gynecological services and health screenings could be found at other state-supported facilities. Republicans who supported the money before refused to override the governor’s veto based on the financial considerations.
Christie said in 2010 he eliminated the funds as part of a wide array of cuts to close a budget gap. But in speeches to conservative groups in February and again last week, the Republican governor, who is mulling a bid for president, boasted he had “vetoed Planned Parenthood funding five times out of the New Jersey budget.”
But now that Christie has dropped “the facade” and explained his motive, Weinberg and Lampitt said they would push to reinstate the money in the budget, and call upon their Republican legislative colleagues to vote their conscience.
“Those of you who voted year after year to uphold the governor’s veto because it was a budget issue, you know very well this is not a budget issue,” Weinberg said. “This is New Jersey, a progressive state who cares about our families, who cares about our women, who cares about their health care. it is time to restore this money in the budget.”
Roslyn Rogers Collins, president and CEO of Planned Parenthood of Metropolitan New Jersey, said her center serving Essex, Hudson and Passaic counties, have had to do without $1.2 million a year since that funding cut. It forced them to close a clinic in Passaic County last year, she said.
“This is playing politics with people’s lives,” Collins said.
A Planned Parenthood Action Fund of New Jersey reported last month said 1.1 million women in 2013 were in need of contraception services because they did not have coverage or could not otherwise afford it.
Kathleen Fisher, president and CEO of the Family Planning Center of Ocean County said the Affordable Care Act expanded insurance coverage for many, “but it does not totally fix the problem.”
She said 15 percent of women ages 18 and 54 lack health insurance still lacked consistent coverage because they bounce between Medicaid and employer-sponsored plans.
“If we do not adequately fund family planning services and expand Medicaid to cover family planning services we are hurting those among us who are the most vulnerable. It’s time the governor recognize this and get on board,” Fisher said.
“I hope the governor will take a good look at the constituents who stand here today. They come from the north and the south, female and male, from all walks of life,” Lampitt said. “It’s time to look at the real faces of the people of New Jersey and the fact that access to good health care keeps our economy going and keeps our women healthy.”
Marie Tasy, executive director for New Jersey Right to Life, praised the governor and offered harsh words for the legislators who intend to revive the issue.
“This is nothing more than a shameful election year maneuver to use taxpayer money to fund the abortion industry, sadly one of the leadership’s favorite core constituencies. Thankfully, Governor Christie has sided with the hard working taxpayers of New Jersey and rejected these measures,” Tasy said.
Update: On June 29, 2015, Governor Christie vetoed bill S866/A2468, Call and email Governor Christie to thank him for vetoing S866/A2648 a second time. Governor’s phone: 609 292-6000. Email the Governor here.
Use “Health” as topic and “Family Health” as sub-topic. Please take this action immediately. Thank you.
The NJ Assembly passed S866/A2648, the Gestational Surrogacy Bill, on May 14, 2015 by a vote of 43-25-3. See how your Two Assembly members voted here
The Senate passed the bill previously on February 5, 2015. See how your State Senator voted here
Please take the Action stated below.
On Thursday, March 19, 2015, the Assembly Human Services released Bill S866/A2648 from Committee. The bill already passed the NJ Senate. See how your State Senator voted here
NJRTL Executive Director Marie Tasy testified against the bill, as did Harold Cassidy, Esq., who is the former member of the NJ Bioethics Commission and Chief Counsel for the Mother in the Baby M Case. Also testifying against the bill was Angelia Gail Robinson, a Gestational Surrogacy mother of twin girls, Cathi Swett, a licensed attorney, and Greg Quinlan of NJ Family First.
The bill passed along partisan lines in the Assembly committee with Democrats voting for it and the two Republicans voting against. Asw. Mosquera (D-4) expressed concerns with the bill after hearing testimony and urged the sponsor to ensure that the issues mentioned are addressed in the bill. For press coverage on the bill: Read
Please also visit www.stopsurrogacynow.com campaign to help stop the exploitation of women and children through surrogacy. Please join and share this link. Thank you.
1. Email and call Governor Christie. Thank him for vetoing the gestational carrier bill in the past and urge him to veto S866/A2648 once again.
Phone Governor Christie: 609-292-6000
Click on the hyperlink below to email the Governor:
Rep. Paul Baumbach, D-Newark, said he requested that lawmakers on the House Health & Human Development Committee keep the ‘Death with Dignity’ legislation in committee.
“We knew when we filed the bill that we did not yet have a critical mass of support, but what we also knew was that the bill and the issue needs to be heard…,” he said. “I’m hopeful that we will continue to learn about this issue and see whether, and how we wish to proceed.”
Baumbach said he has plans to introduce a bill that would establish a task force exploring end of life treatment and choices in Delaware.
“Hopefully we’ll over the next six months we’ll have public meetings to learn more and hear more from each other and find best practices across the country,” he added.
By tabling the bill, lawmakers on the committee can always bring it back for a vote until June 30, 2016.
Patients would have to have an incurable and irreversible disease expected to end their life within six months. Two doctors would have to confirm the diagnoses, according to the legislation.
They would also have to be informed of all alternatives, including hospice care, and a mental health consultation is required if either doctor suspects any mental illnesses, like depression.
There is a three-step process for patients to receive the life-ending medicine, according to the legislation. A patient would have to make the initial request, then there would be a 15-day wait, another request, then a two-day wait, and then the patient would receive the prescription pills. After ninety days the initial request would expire.
According to the legislation patients can rescind their request at any time.
Doctors and healthcare providers are also able to choose whether or not they participate and can opt-out as well. Doctors and healthcare providers are protected from any retaliation under the legislation, according to the bill.
Oregon, Vermont and Washington have similar laws. Court decisions in Montana and New Mexico also have allowed the practice in those states.
Contact Jon Offredo at (302) 678-4271, on Twitter @JonOffredo or email@example.com
After a lengthy and emotional hearing Monday, lawmakers narrowly sent New Jersey’s Death with Dignity Act to its final vote in the Legislature.
The question now is whether the legislation allowing physicians to prescribe fatal medication to terminally ill patients with less than six months to live can get the backing needed in the Senate. It barely got the support to pass the Senate Health, Human Services and Senior Citizens Committee on Monday, by a vote of 5-3, but some lawmakers who were in favor of the legislation said they would vote against it in the full Senate.
In the past week the panel has heard testimony from medical organizations, religious groups, and those who have been given months to live and those who have witnessed the slow, painful death of a loved one. Advocates of the measure said it is a matter of civil liberties and provides a comforting outlet for those in pain. Critics have called it flawed policy tantamount to state-sanctioned homicide.
But after close to six total hours of lobbying on each side the past week, Senator Jim Whelan, D-Atlantic, summed up the panel’s responsibility this way: “This is really a highly personal issue, and very much a vote of conscience.”
Personal views do change, though. One of the bill’s original sponsors, Chairman Joseph Vitale, D-Middlesex, took his name off the legislation because, he said, “The more I thought about it, the more questions I had. I just thought it was best to say, ‘I’m not sure.’”
Still, Vitale cast a vote Monday in favor of releasing the bill to the full Senate, but without recommendation – meaning there is not overwhelming support in the majority.
It isn’t known if it has the 21 votes to clear the Senate, though Senate President Stephen Sweeney, D-Gloucester, has come out in support of the bill. In a statement, he said he believes there “needs to be an honest discussion about this option.”
An Assembly version cleared last month with 41 votes, the minimum needed for a bill to pass. And even if the bill does pass the Senate, Governor Christie has said he does not support it.
Such a measure is contentious enough, but several speakers – and one committee member – suspected the bill was getting rammed through to the Senate.
“This is a very, very, very critical piece of legislation that deserves to have its time. It rushed through the Assembly in the dark of night. It’s rushing through the Senate in the dark of night,” said Sen. Bob Singer, R-Ocean. “What’s this urgency that it can’t get its fair share and can’t (let) everyone be heard?”
On Monday, several speakers expressed worry that the law, if passed, would become an option of first resort, not the last, for some.
“What we have is palliative care for the rich and death for the poor. Is that the road we’re really going down here?” said Alan Holdsworth, a member of the group Not Dead Yet.
On November 18th, 2014, during the Assembly floor debate on A2270, the physician assisted bill, Assemblyman Jay Webber (R-26) asked Assemblyman John Burzichelli (D-3), the bill sponsor, some very important questions related to taxpayer funding of assisted suicide. Assemblyman Webber said he noticed there was no prohibition on the use of state funds – either state medicaid funds or monies through the state health benefits plans from being used to intentionally end another individual’s life. He then asked Assemblyman Burzichelli if there was anything in the bill that would prevent state funds from being used to pay for assisted suicide. Assemblyman Burzichelli answered that he thought that the normal course of process associated with what is paid for or not paid for in the multiple programs the state had would be sufficient to sort out those details. Assemblyman Webber then asked if it was the sponsor’s intention to require public funding of physician assisted suicide. Burzichelli’s response was that he makes “no comment related to what those processes would provide based on this intent of the legislation.” You can listen to that exchange here (at minute marker 37:50 -40:07); We advise using Internet Explorer to access this page.
It is important to note that without an express prohibition in the bill to prohibit taxpayer funding of assisted suicide, it leaves the door open to the use of public funds. It’s amazing that the bill passed after this admission by the sponsor, especially among the four Republicans who voted for it, all of whom claim to be fiscal conservatives. (Asw. Maria Rodriguez-Gregg (R-8), Asm. Declan O’Scanlon (R-13), Asm. Jack Ciatterelli (R-16), and Holly Schepisi (R-39).)
We thank Assemblyman Jay Webber (R-26) and Assemblyman Robert Auth (R-39) for speaking about the dangers of this bill and pointing out its serious flaws.
Read related article here.
I AM not evil. According to Brittany Maynard, I am. Maynard was the 29-year-old terminally ill woman who moved from California to Oregon so she could commit suicide on Nov. 1. I am not evil, and I refuse to be an apologist for what we are talking about across these not-so-United States. The New Jersey Death With Dignity Act is mislabeled. The function of such a law is to allow people to end their lives — and that is called suicide.
Maynard, an eloquent advocate for her cause, told People magazine, “For people to argue against this choice for sick people really seems evil to me.” On Thursday, 41 members of the state Assembly apparently agreed. By the slimmest of majorities, the 80-member chamber passed the so-called Death With Dignity bill.
The state Senate still must pass the bill before it could go to Governor Christie’s desk. Considering Christie’s pro-life stance, it is hard to envision him signing such a bill into law. There was not much debate in the Assembly, but what has been reported reveals some of the passion behind the legislation.
Assemblyman Patrick Diegnan, D-Middlesex, told of his mother’s last days. She had wasted away to 50 pounds and would tell him she wished she could die. There is no easy answer here. Legislation that will affect every person living in New Jersey should not be the byproduct of any individual’s personal loss.
Yet we see in state legislatures and Congress just that — the proliferation of laws that bear the first name of a victim of a crime or a natural calamity. These bills become laws because legislators find that spot inside constituents that wants to end brutality or suffering and come up with legislation that generally does not solve the problems, only salves the wounds.
The sincerity of the bill’s supporters is real. But the opposition is sincere, as well. There are religious forces at play, and there are more basic moral ones, not aligned to any one given faith. Despite the procedural safeguards that should prevent someone in momentary depression from committing suicide, this is a dangerous line for a state to cross. Because if we buy into the argument that this is all about personal liberty and no one has the right to tell anyone when to end their life, then suicide without checks and balances becomes not only justifiable, but a protected right. While many New Jerseyans may be fine with the overall concept of allowing terminally ill people the choice of killing themselves, in practice it might not be so black and white.
We all want to cheat death. And sometimes people defy their diagnosis. The headlines over Maynard’s decision may be recent, but the actress Valerie Harper made news when she went public with her diagnosis of terminal brain cancer. She was given three months to live — two years ago.
Terminally ill patients would have to be of sound mind when they decide to end their lives under this proposed bill. So the case of a dying parent in the final throes of a horrible death may not really be applicable. The decision to die would have had to be made and acted upon long before that stage was reached.
Some proponents of this legislation also claim that the health care industry is preventing terminally ill patients from dying because there is money to be made by forcing these patients to undergo needless medical procedures and treatments. Well, in this new America where all citizens must have health insurance, the opposite could become true — insurers could encourage patients with costly end-of-life illnesses to choose a quicker death.
If I am uncomfortable with the possibility that insurance companies could determine if I live or die — and I am — I am more frightened when legislators take on that role; I cannot think of a collective body more lacking in moral and intellectual integrity. Whether it is a state legislature or Congress, these chambers are political entities with members who vote with one eye on the next election and the other eye on the one beyond that one.
The law should be free of such political taint, but it is not. There may be enough support for the Assembly bill to bring it to the state Senate. Not for nothing, but the president of the state Senate intends to run for governor, and I am not sure he would want to have this piece of legislation on his résumé in 2017.
There is no way of knowing whether the individuals who chose suicide would have died the horrible deaths they chose to avoid. Without that irrefutable evidence, we are left with the stories of the terrible deaths of people we have known and loved as the primary reason for embracing state-sanctioned suicide.
My mother had Alzheimer’s. By the time she died, she no longer could walk, speak or understand any conversation. She was not in pain, which was a blessing. But she was robbed of her personality; no caregiver saw the dynamic woman she had once been. Should people with Alzheimer’s be given the option to end their lives while they still have their ability to reason? If more states become like Oregon, perhaps the answer one day will be yes.
The Assembly passed a bill claiming it allows dying people to retain their dignity. The Legislature is not in the dignity business. Dignity is innate; it can’t be legislated into existence. Alleviating pain and misery is a noble goal; state-sanctioned suicide is not.
If that makes me evil, I don’t want to know society’s definition of good.
Alfred P. Doblin is the editorial page editor of The Record. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow AlfredPDoblin on Twitter.
The Physician Assisted Bill (A2270) passed the NJ Assembly on November 13, 2014 by a vote of 41-31.
The vote tally is listed below. The bill now moves to the State Senate.
Action Still Needed to Defeat A2270/S382:
Please Contact your State Senator and urge them to vote No on A2270/S382, then call and email Governor Christie and urge him to Veto A2270/S382 if it reaches his desk. Please contact your State Senator and Governor Christie by going to our Legislative Action Center here
News on the November 13, 2014 Assembly Vote:
NJ Assembly Democrat leadership, which includes Speaker Vincent Prieto, and Asm. John Burzichelli, the bill’s sponsor, have continually pulled every dishonest trick in the book with the last minute scheduling of hearings and voting sessions on A2270. To say this has been a fair and open process would be a bald-faced lie and their shameful actions during this entire legislative process fly in the face of fairness, ethics, leadership and good governance. The latest chicanery occurred with this November 13th vote. After 5:00 p.m. on Monday (11/10/14), Assembly Democrat leaders, Speaker Vincent Prieto and Asm. John Burzichelli, (who is the sponsor of A2270 and others in the Democratic leadership), quietly added A2270 to the voting schedule board for November 13, 2014. Why is this noteworthy? Because the next day was Tuesday November 11th, Veterans Day, and state offices were closed so no phone calls to Assembly members offices could be received until Wednesday morning
NJ citizens need to know how these folks operate and act accordingly at election time. Remember, everything they do affects our lives and future generations.
Below is the November 13, 2014 Assembly Vote tally on A2270.
The following people are listed as abstentions but were in fact absent: McHose, Rumpf, Angelini, Watson-Coleman, Quijano
Those present but not voting: Conaway, Caputo, Tucker