Breaking News: Governor Murphy Signs Assisted Suicide bill

 

New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy signed into law today a bill targeting elderly and disabled people that legalizes assisted suicide statewide.

Six states (California, Colorado, Hawaii, Oregon, Washington, and Vermont) and Washington D.C. permit the dangerous practice of allowing physicians to write lethal prescriptions to certain groups of persons to kill themselves.

New Jersey works on a system where a bill must achieve 41 votes in the Assembly to pass and 21 votes in the Senate to pass, regardless of how many votes are cast against it. Advocates of the assisted suicide measure received the bare minimum in each chamber to pass it.

New Jersey pro-life advocates fought legalization valiantly for six years but euthanasia supporters finally obtained enough votes for the bill.

Patients Rights Action Fund’s Executive Director, Matt Valliere told LifeNews he was disappointed by the news.

“With the signing of this bill to legalize assisted suicide, many vulnerable New Jerseyans are now at risk of deadly harm through mistakes, coercion, and abuse. People with disabilities, the economically disadvantaged, and terminally ill patients are at greatest risk – dangerous public policies often ignore the voices of the vulnerable,” he said. “They are already at a disadvantage when they try to gain equal access to healthcare, and this law will only increase the challenges they face.”

He added: “In other states where assisted suicide is legal, it has proven impossible to regulate and leaves the door wide open for abuse and coercion. New Jersey ought to be investing in better care and support at the end of life, not enshrining this dangerous public policy into law.”

New Jersey Right to Life actively worked against the legislation, and noted how thw Senate president actively worked to get the dangerous measure approved.

“The bill was released from Committee by a vote of 6-3, with one Senator not voting. Senate President Sweeney replaced two members of the committee who previously Voted No on the bill with himself and Senator Scutari who is a sponsor of the bill to ensure there would be enough Yes votes for the bill to pass out of Committee,” the group said. “Testimony on the bill was limited to only one hour with each witness provided only two minutes to make their case. Many physicians, disability advocates and key people who signed up to give testimony did not get a chance to do so.”

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The group also warned of numerous problems associated with the workings of the proposed law.

“Proponents claim that this is an issue of personal choice and that those who object to assisted suicide don’t have to utilize it, but taxpayers will be forced to pay for it through NJ’s Medicaid program which is a state taxpayer funded program,” it said. “This means that all taxpayers will be complicit in funding state sanctioned physician assisted suicide if this bill becomes law.”

It added: “Laws should not be passed for the few who want them, but consideration should be given to how it will affect the greater population, especially individuals who are most vulnerable to abuse of such a law.”

“This legislation is bad public policy for New Jersey,” it continued. “It threatens the doctor-patient relationship because it will turn physicians who are meant to be healers into agents of death, who will act directly to cause the death of patient. As we have seen in other states where assisted suicide is legal, health insurance companies (including medicaid providers) who are always looking to cut costs will deny patients treatments to save and sustain their lives, but instead offer assisted suicide drugs because it is cheaper to do so. The “so-called” safeguards in the bill are hollow and do not protect the patient. In addition, the bill grants complete immunity to everyone but the patient. It also involves third parties in the decision making process (including those who are not “capable” of personally communicating their wishes ) and is a recipe for abuse, especially for the elderly and disabled populations.”

On the pro-euthanasia side, Compassion and Choices launched a $1 million sustained digital video ad campaign featuring terminally ill advocates and their loved ones urging New Jersey lawmakers to pass the bill.

ACTION: Share your disappointment with the governor. Gov. Murphy can be reached by phone—609-292-6000—or by email–https://www.state.nj.us/governor/contact.

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Senate and Assembly Passed Assisted Suicide bill by razor thin margins on 3/25. Contact Governor Murphy and urge him to Veto it.

Yesterday, the Assembly passed the Assisted Suicide bill (A1504/S1072) by the bare minimum number of vote needed to pass- 41 votes.  The Senate also passed the bill by the bare minimum needed – only 21 votes.

We wish to thank all members of the Assembly and Senate who voted no on the bill.  We also want to extend a  special thank you to Asm. Jay Webber (R-26), Asm Christopher DePhillips (R-40),Asw. Serena DiMaso(R-13), Asw. Joseph Howarth (R-8) and Senator Robert Singer (R-30) for speaking against the bill and articulating the myriad of problems this bill poses for individuals and our society as a whole.

Soon after the bill passed, Governor Murphy issued a statement announcing his intention to sign it into law.

Contact the Governor and urge him to Veto or Conditionally veto A1504/S1072. Thank you.

Phone the Governor: 609 292 6000. Email the Governor: https://www.state.nj.us/governor/contact/

How did your Two Assembly Members Vote? Click on the blue hyperlink below to find out

A1504/S1072 Assembly Vote

How did your State Senator vote?  Click on blue hyperlink below to find out 

A1504/S1072 Senate Vote

Urgent: Senate and Assembly to Vote on Assisted Suicide Bill (A1504/S1072) on Monday, March 25, 2019

On Monday, March 25, 2019, Both Houses of the Legislature will vote on

the Assisted Suicide legislation (A1504/S1072) on Monday, March 25, 2019.

Please contact your State Senator and two Assembly Members and urge them to Vote No on A1504/S1072.  You can take action by clicking on “Legislation” in the section above.

NJ Abortion Clinic Dr Found Incompetent. What Happens to the Troubled Clinics?

A judge has recommended yanking the medical license of Vikram Kaji, the 82-year-old, stroke-impaired director of a chain of abortion clinics in New Jersey, concluding he is not competent to practice medicine.

But the ruling says nothing about the implications for those clinics, which the state attorney general alleges were illegally transferred to Kaji by discredited abortion provider Steven C. Brigham.

Brigham, 62, whose record of botched procedures goes back decades in multiple states, lost his New Jersey medical license more than four years ago and was ordered to sell his clinics there, which are part of his multistate, Voorhees-based abortion network, advertised as American Women’s Services.

The attorney general has alleged that Brigham sought to keep controlling and profiting from the clinics by transferring ownership, for no money, to Kaji, a Mumbai-trained obstetrician-gynecologist who was disciplined in the mid-1990s for sexually abusing patients. Hearings were ordered three years ago to sort out whether Kaji was in effect Brigham’s puppet.

The state’s Board of Medical Examiners, which licenses physicians, has 45 days to adopt, change, or reject the ruling, or it automatically goes into effect.

The law firm representing Kaji and Brigham did not respond to requests for comment.

A spokesperson said the Attorney General’s Office — which has said the state would “address the matter of ownership” after Kaji’s competency case was concluded — had no comment.

It was Brigham’s unlicensed practice of medicine at a late-term, cash-only abortion clinic that he secretly set up in Elkton, Md., that led to the revocation of his New Jersey license, the last of six that he lost, let lapse, or gave up.

But lack of licensure has not necessarily been a barrier to Brigham’s business because most states allow doctors to own medical practices even if they are not licensed. In Pennsylvania, for example, Brigham relinquished his license in 1992, yet owned clinics until 2010, when his persistent flouting of health and safety laws led regulators to ban him. It took them two more years to actually shut him down because he transferred ownership to his mother in Ohio.

American Women’s Services’ website now lists 15 clinics in three states, but several are closed. The site does not list a clinic in Florida and another in Washington, D.C., that records and media reports tie to Brigham.

At Kaji’s competency hearing in September, the New Jersey network — which Brigham has a contract to manage — was variously described as seven or nine clinics. Kaji said he traveled to seven, but could not name all the locations. Other employees said clinics are in Elizabeth, Voorhees, Woodbridge, Phillipsburg, Galloway, Hamilton, Englewood, Bridgewater, and Livingston. Neither Bridgewater nor Livingston is listed on the American Women’s Services’ website — but it does list “now closed” offices in Toms River and Paramus.

Although the Englewood clinic is open, it filed for bankruptcy protection in May 2017.

Brigham has yet to pay any of the $561,000 in penalties and prosecution costs that New Jersey imposed following his 2014 license revocation, according to the Attorney General’s Office. At that time, Brigham owed almost $500,000 to the IRS for not paying employee taxes.

Brigham hired Kaji in the mid-1990s while the ob-gyn’s license was restricted in Pennsylvania and New Jersey for improprieties including having sex with a patient in his office and improperly prescribing controlled substances for her.

Over the last five years, regulators have scrutinized Kaji’s medical performance and required him to undergo neurological evaluations in response to complaints. In 2017, he agreed to stop practicing medicine pending the competency hearing.

Betancourt wrote that he found Kaji “slow to answer and at times unsure” of his own medical history.

Both supporters and opponents of abortion rights reacted the same way to the ruling.

“We hope the decision will bring Mr. Brigham’s charade one step closer to being shut down permanently,” emailed the Very Rev. Katherine Ragsdale, interim CEO and president of the National Abortion Federation. “Brigham is a rogue doctor who operates outside recognized standards for quality abortion care.”

“The Brigham/Kaji charade has gone on long enough,” emailed Marie Tasy, executive director of New Jersey Right to Life. New Jersey authorities “need to immediately shut down Brigham’s clinics.”

NJ Senate Health Committee Replaces two Senators to get votes to release Assisted Suicide Bill

On February 7, 2019,  the Senate Health and Human Services Committee released S1072, the NJ Assisted Suicide bill from Committee.  The bill can now be voted on at any time in the full Senate.

The Assembly bill (A1504) is cirrently awaiting a vote by the full Assembly

Please contact your State Senator and two assembly members now and urge them to Vote No on A1504/S1072.

Please sign up for our Action emails to keep updated on this important issue.  Thank you.

You can read the article reporting on the February 7 Senate hearing here:   https://www.nj.com/news/2019/02/nj-just-moved-a-step-closer-to-letting-terminally-ill-people-end-their-lives.html

 

NY Governor Signs Extreme Pro-Abortion Bill Allowing Abortions Up Until Birth

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo Signs Bill Legalizing Abortions Up to Birth

 STATE   MICAIAH BILGER   JAN 23, 2019   |   10:22AM    ALBANY, NEW YORK
www.lifenews.com

Just hours after the state Senate and Assembly passed it, Cuomo signed the bill, legalizing abortion for basically any reason up to birth in New York state, Rochester City Newspaper reports.

The pro-abortion governor gave Sarah Weddington, the attorney in the Roe v. Wade case, a special seat next to him Tuesday evening, as abortion activists around them cheered, the AP reports.

Cuomo said he hopes other states will follow in New York’s footsteps and pass similar pro-abortion laws.

“With the signing of this bill, we are sending a clear message that whatever happens in Washington, women in New York will always have the fundamental right to control their own body,” Cuomo said in a statement.

The so-called Reproductive Health Act goes beyond Roe v. Wade, allowing unborn babies to be aborted even when the U.S. Supreme Court has said states may restrict abortions. Late-term abortions, which currently are illegal in New York, would be allowed, and non-doctors would be allowed to perform them.

New York pro-lifers fought successfully for more than a decade to defeat the radical pro-abortion bill. But the November election put pro-abortion Democrats in control of both state houses, and the politicians made abortion on demand a priority for the new year.

New York State Right to Life mourned what the new law will mean for babies and mothers, but promised to continue fighting to protect them.

“RHA is an extreme bill sold to the public saying it merely ‘updates’ New York’s law, which is far from true,” the pro-life organization said in a statement. “RHA will expand abortion past 24 weeks through birth, make abortion a ‘fundamental right,’ and prohibit all limits, which Roe vs. Wade did not do.

“[We] will continue to work to expose the misinformation put forth about RHA, protect children and their mothers, protect the rights of pro-life persons to engage in life-saving activities and express their views, and to build a culture of Life in New York,” the group continued.

The law appears to restrict late-term abortions, but it adds a broad “health” exception for abortions after 24 weeks. The exception would allow women to abort unborn babies up to nine months of pregnancy for basically any reason, including “age, economic, social and emotional factors,” according to New York Right to Life.

It also redefines a “person” as “a human being who has been born and is alive,” and describes abortion as a “fundamental right.”

The legislation poses serious dangers to women’s lives and rights as well. By removing protections from illegal abortions, the law will open the door for abuses. According to New York RTL, back alley abortionists, abusive partners or parents and others no longer will face charges for illegally killing an unborn baby – even if the mother wants her child.

“In early December, a resident of Saratoga County was arrested for punching the stomach of a woman who was 26 weeks pregnant in an attempt to cause a miscarriage. The man was charged with abortion in the second degree, but under the RHA, the attacker would not have been charged with a felony,” according to the Catholic News Service.

Protections for babies born alive after botched abortions also would end under the new bill. Additionally, the bill says the state cannot “deny, regulate or restrict” abortion, not even for common-sense reasons such as parental consent for minors, informed consent or limits on taxpayer-funded abortions.

New York State Right to Life predicted that the bill will lead to the suppression of pro-lifers’ freedom of speech and conscience as well. Doctors and nurses who refuse to help abort unborn babies could lose their jobs, and pro-life advocates could be persecuted for just speaking out for life.

Already one of the most pro-abortion states in America, New York would become even more pro-abortion if the law passes. In 2016, 82,189 unborn babies were aborted in New York, with about half being taxpayer-funded, according to the local news. Of those babies, 1,763 were at least 20 weeks, meaning they may have been viable outside the womb.

Meanwhile, a new poll indicates this radical pro-abortion legislation is not what Americans want. According to a national poll conducted by Marist University, three in four Americans (75 percent) say abortion should be limited to – at most – the first three months of pregnancy. This includes most of those who identify as Republicans (92 percent), Independents (78 percent) and a majority of Democrats (60 percent). It also includes more than six in 10 (61 percent) who identify as “pro-choice” on abortion.

The Marist Poll follows on the heels of a May 2018 Gallup poll which found that 53 percent of Americans oppose all or most abortions.