Washington Assisted Suicide Drive Gaining Momentum, Pro-Lifers Worried
by Steven Ertelt
June 3, 2008
Olympia, WA (LifeNews.com) — Leading pro-life advocates are worried that the campaign to make Washington the second state to legalize assisted suicide is gaining momentum. They say the organization behind the ballot proposal has raised almost $1 million, including hundreds of thousands from its Oregon colleagues.
Euthanasia advocates are urging state residents to sign petitions to get I-1000 on the November ballot.
I-1000 backers have to submit 224,800 valid signatures to the secretary of state by July 3 to qualify the measure for the Washington ballot.
While pro-life groups, disability rights activists, and medical professionals are already educating state residents about the dangers of the idea, one euthanasia opponent says he’s concerned pro-life people are not more alarmed and getting active in opposing it.
"The initiative to legalize assisted suicide in Washington State appears to be gaining ground," says Alex Schadenberg of the Euthanasia Prevention Coalition.
"The Death With Dignity I-1000 campaign to legalize assisted suicide in Washington State has effectively raised one million dollars," he explained. "They have organizations such as the leading assisted suicide lobby group – Compassion & Choices, working to raise more money on a national basis and they have the former governor of Washington State, Booth Gardner, as a lead campaigner."
"Every American who opposes assisted suicide, whether they be disability rights activists, palliative care professionals, pro-life supporters or any person in general, needs to join the campaign to oppose I-1000," he urged.
Schadenberg says pro-life people can’t wait for the ballot proposal to be officially approved for the general election to get involved in the fight against it.
With the money and organization from within Washington and out of state, he says there’s little doubt the initiative will qualify for a November fight.
"We cannot wait until the signature campaign is verified before we start to raise the necessary money to oppose the legalization of Oregon-style assisted suicide in Washington," he said.
"The campaign against assisted suicide in Washington must become the priority for all Americans who oppose assisted suicide," he concluded.
Schadenberg urged Washington residents to donate money to the Washington Coalition Against Assisted Suicide or get involved as a volunteer.
Last month, a group of bipartisan lawmakers in the Washington state legislature issued a statement saying they oppose the bid to legalize assisted suicide.