By Olivia Gans Turner, President, Virginia Society for Human Life (VSHL)
As this hot, wet summer draws to a close, there is a lot of news to share with our faithful supporters.
First, allow us to bring you up to speed on the status of the special working group of the Joint Commission on Health Care in Richmond. This is the working group that has been debating the threat of dangerous changes to Virginia’s protective ban on so-called physician assisted suicide.
VSHL staff and board members have been active in the closed-door meetings and have made a significant contribution to the final report to the Committee that lays out all the reasons that there must not be any expansion of assisted suicide in the Commonwealth.
The working group was made up of doctors and special interest groups on both sides of the debate, but was weighted heavily towards support for doctor-prescribed death measures. Fortunately, several major disability rights groups, along with the Virginia Catholic Conference and the Family Foundation, supported the efforts of VSHL to oppose changes to the law that VSHL got introduced and worked to pass several years ago.
It is critical that that law must be preserved unchanged!
This week, on August 22, the Joint Committee on Health Care will hold its summer meeting, during which it will hear the final draft of the working group report. No vote will be taken that day, but questions may be asked by committee members. Their final vote on recommendations regarding action to be taken by the General Assembly will happen in November. Between now and then there will be a period of public comment regarding this matter. That is where all of you come in.
It is imperative that concerned Virginians make their voices heard. Powerful pro-death organizations are attacking state laws preventing assisted suicide more and more often. They have targeted Virginia’s law and are attempting to fool citizens using words like “Medical Aid in Dying” as a cover for their plans.
This euphemistic language reminds pro-lifers of the language used to disguise the deadly truth behind abortion. In this case the only aid that they are working towards is the power for doctors to provide lethal drugs to vulnerable patients. As the evidence mounts from around the world, legalizing assisted suicide only makes vulnerable patients more at risk from unscrupulous doctors or family.
Next week after the meeting, you will receive another email that provides details of how to contact the members of the Committee and what you need to say. Please watch your emails and share these messages with all your pro-life family and friends. Your voice does matter!
“Gosnell “Movie headed to theaters this fall
The message here gives you details about the long-awaited release of the feature film telling the true story of the vile abortionist, Kermit Gosnell, who ran the infamous House of Horrors in Philadelphia. The film details the court case that finally brought him down. Watch the official trailer here.
New approach to caring for people with severe brain damage.
This article appeared in the August edition of the National Right to Life News. It is extremely timely as Virginia continues to see attacks on vulnerable patients. The successful effort in the 2018 General Assembly to pass measures that would provide some protection for patients receiving life-sustaining treatment is one of many examples. We must continue to stand up for the defense of lives that are being judged and denied life-saving treatment due to disability.
VSHL would like to take this occasion to congratulate our parent organization, National Right to Life, on this the 50th Anniversary of this essential life-saving organization’s founding. VSHL was founded one year earlier and was among the very first state pro-life groups to become an affiliate member of National Right to Life.
VSHL’s own Geline B. Williams continues to serve on the National Right to Life Board. The following article, “A Look Back at 50 Years of NRLC” is from NRL News and was written by NRLC President Mrs. Carol Tobias from New Mexico.