Connecticut Legislators Push Bills to Attack Pregnancy Centers and Legalize Assisted Suicide

State   |   Indya Rennie   |   Mar 19, 2018   |   11:01AM   |   Hartford, CT

Connecticut is launching a two-strike attack on life. Not only have Connecticut legislators proposed a bill that would limit the advertising rights of pregnancy help centers, but they also put forward a bill to legalize assisted suicide.

There will be a public hearing for both bills at 11 a.m. March 20, and the Family Institute of Connecticut is urging action.

“Email your legislators right now and ask them to vote NO on these two bills,” the pro-life group says.

The organization also urges pro-lifers to attend the hearing. “Just your silent presence, wearing our stickers, sends a powerful message to the legislators,” FIC says.

Assisted suicide bills were proposed and defeated in Connecticut in 2013, 2014 and 2015, but euthanasia advocates have not given up. The new bill, H.B. 5417, allows physicians to “dispense or prescribe” lethal drugs for terminally ill, “mentally competent” patients upon request.

While H.B. 5417 requires that witnesses to the patient’s written and signed request for lethal drugs be non-family members or individuals with no entitlement to the patient’s “estate,” this does not eliminate the possibility of having witnesses with a vested interest in the patient’s death.

“An heir or beneficiary could still get two friends to witness the signing of a request,” FIC points out.

The requirement that the patient be tested for depression before being prescribed lethal drugs is not infallible either. J.J. Hanson, a former staffer to two New York Democratic governors, considered assisted suicide in his fight against Stage 4 glioblastoma, despite living past the four months that his doctors predicted.

“We had no idea at the time he was having those kinds of thoughts,” his wife Kristen told the Washington Post. “So when he saw this idea of assisted suicide being presented as a safe option only given to patients who are of sound mind, he would say no, that’s not a foolproof safeguard. Depression is something that is very difficult to diagnose.”

Later, Hanson became a leading advocate against assisted suicide.

Assisted suicide is legal in five states and Washington, D.C. Supporters describe these laws as “death with dignity,” but opponents say the laws open up a wide door for abuse of the elderly and those with disabilities.

In states where doctor-prescribed suicide is legal, sick people are being denied expensive medical treatment coverage and offered the cheaper option of assisted suicide. One example is Stephanie Packer, a California wife and mother of four who was diagnosed with a terminal form of cancer. She said her insurance company initially refused to cover the cost of her medical treatment, but offered to pay to have a doctor help her commit suicide.

Assisted suicide bills often meet strong opposition from disability rights advocates and medical groups, as well as pro-life and religious organizations.

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In Connecticut this week, the second bill to be considered, H.B. 5416, also contains inconsistencies.

It penalizes “limited services pregnancy centers”—the bill’s term for pregnancy centers that do not provide abortions —for disseminating “false, misleading or deceptive” advertisements.

FIC notes, “The bill offers no specifics on what language is considered deceptive yet it forces pregnancy centers to pay for ‘corrective advertising’ if their ads are deemed deceptive. It would, in essence, put pro-abortionists in charge of deciding what is acceptable advertising for pro-lifers.”

This bill is scheduled to be heard in committee on the same day that the U.S. Supreme Court will hear a challenge to a similar law in California that requires pro-life pregnancy centers to advertise abortions. If the Supreme Court strikes down the California law, Connecticut’s H.B. 5416 could become invalid and could cost the state immensely if it is passed and subsequently challenged.

ACTION: Contact legislators here.