"We Won't Back Down," They Claimed
Last week was the opening of the 2016 legislative session in Connecticut. The scope of threats to life, faith, and family that may come out of the short session remains to be seen — but on one hot issue, we may have already won.
The Hartford Courant’s Capitol Watch blog reports that assisted suicide won’t even get a public hearing this year. Each year, defying claims of “momentum” behind assisted suicide, FIC and our allies have beat the bill more decisively than the last time. This fourth year, it appears that all the saber-rattling of the pro-assisted suicide lobby, C&C — and their half million dollars — has come to nothing. No Brittany Maynard effect or California effect has moved state-sanctioned suicide any closer to law in Connecticut.
A C&C-sympathetic piece in Nonprofit Quarterly laments the lack of action for assisted suicide and chalks it up to the short session in an election year — but that hasn’t stopped our opponents before. Connecticut’s pro-assisted suicide activists were spoiling for Round 4, and we have the evidence:
The truth of the matter is further down in the same article: “Not only are activists in Connecticut up against a political tide opposing assisted suicide legislation, but they face an equally formidable nonprofit coalition on the other side, which includes the Catholic Church, disability rights activists, and the Connecticut State Medical Society. As the Family Institute of Connecticut, a nonprofit social welfare organization against assisted suicide, stated on its blog:
“The Connecticut electorate knows they would be better served by expanded access to early palliative and hospice care, increased funding for home health care workers and mandatory training for pain management techniques for medical students. These would be ways to help hundreds and thousands of residents in ways that laws permitting assisted suicide cannot.”
Behind that coalition success were many individual members who testified, attended the public hearing, wrote op-eds, came to the lobby day, shared our information, and more. Those efforts mattered tremendously.
No Public Hearing At All = Assisted Suicide’s Biggest Defeat Yet
This is great news, but given the shenanigans we’ve seen in past years, there are at least two possibilities, reasons we can’t let our guard down yet: 1) This is false information planted to lull our side into complacency; or 2) The bill could be brought up through a different, less standard avenue.
If that happens, we are prepared to mobilize again and win. We are not satisfied only to crush the suicide lobby in public hearings — we want them to pull up their stakes and go away for good.