Maryland pro-lifers are rejoicing that the latest attempt to pass a Physician-Assisted Suicide law (PAS) has failed, the third time such proposed legislation has been rejected in as many years.
The victory came despite early rumors from PAS supporters and the media that PAS would pass this year in Maryland.
State Sen. Guy Guzzone,(D-Howard County), the Senate’s lead sponsor, withdrew the legislation and canceled scheduled hearings. In the House, state Delegate Shane Pendergrass (D-Howard County), held hearings and was anticipated a scheduled vote in the House.
However on Friday Pendergrass told the Washington Post there simply were not enough votes to move forward.
“We don’t see it passing this year,” he acknowledged. The defeat was a product of intense grassroots efforts.
“Maryland Right to Life played a pivotal role in its defeat with strong chapter involvement, great testimony, and strong lobbying by Gwenn Murray,” said Maryland Right to Life’s Executive Director Ernie Ohlhoff. “We are very proud of our strong grassroots response to our legislative alert eblasts.”
Maryland Right to Life helped form and worked actively with a coalition of groups, including the Maryland Catholic Conference, other church groups, disability rights groups, and groups specifically opposing PAS. The broad-cased coalition provided the House Committee with strong testimony regarding the dangers and abuses in the proposed legislation which was based on the Oregon’s first-in-the-nation law.
Maryland Right to Life is now focusing on presenting testimony on three pro-life measures:
- SB 841 and HB 1167 which would end dismemberment abortions
- HB 547 Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act
- HB1223 which would end state funding of almost all abortions
Hearings have been scheduled in all four committees.
Maryland Right to Life is actively lobbying and identifying witnesses to provide testimony in support of these important pro-life initiatives.