Vermont Pro-Life Advocates Rally Against New Bill to Legalize Assisted Suicide
by Steven Ertelt
April 29, 2009
Montpelier, VT (LifeNews.com) — Vermont pro-life advocates are gearing up once again for a battle against legislation that would add the state to the list of those that have legalized assisted suicide. Led by Vermont Right to Life, state residents will participate in a rally in the state capital tomorrow.
The pro-life organization tells LifeNews.com the Healthcare is a Human Right rally is an event to remind state lawmakers that abortion and physician-assisted suicide are not health care and should not be included in any state health care proposal.
Just prior to the scheduled rally, lawmakers introduced legislation to legalize assisted suicide in both the state House and Senate.
The measures, S. 144 and H. 455, are causing pro-life groups, medical organizations and disability rights groups to be concerned about the specter of a government-run system that relies on rationing of health care along with legalized assisted suicide.
It is no accident that the push to legalize physician-assisted suicide is rearing its ugly head at the same time that pressure is being put on lawmakers to change the health care system and reduce health care costs, Vermont Right to Life director Mary Hahn Beerworth told LifeNews.com.
Beerworth said states such as Oregon, the first to legalize assisted suicide, have seen abuses. There, a patient can be denied lifesaving health care but the state government will cover the cost of a lethal dose of a deadly drug.
In Oregon, patients who are under-insured and dependent on Oregon Health Services can be denied medical treatment and offered physician-assisted suicide," she said.
The last time the legislature addressed a bill to legalize assisted suicide, the Vermont state House defeated a bill after a legislative committee passed the bill. After several hours of emotional debate, the House defeated the assisted suicide bill on a 82-63 vote.
The pro-life advocates will also object to the inclusion of abortion in any new system of health care.
Beerworth told LifeNews.com that, during the tenure of former Governor Howard Dean in the 1990s, his health care plan would have covered abortion throughout pregnancy for all Vermonters at a cost of just $5.00.
The abortions would be paid for at taxpayer expense.
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