Opposing Assisted Suicide and Defending Women's Rights

Proposed legislation in St. Paul threatens life, human dignity, and religious freedom.

On Thursday, January 25, three weeks before the official start of the legislative session is set to begin, the House Health Finance and Policy Committee held a hearing on H.F. 1930, the End-of-Life Options Act. Medical professionals, people with disabilities, military veterans, faith leaders, and many more submitted written testimony and testified in person against the bill. But the committee voted along party lines to advance the bill out of the committee. H.F. 1930 will move to the House Public Safety Committee for further consideration.  

The bill requires every physician and APRN in the state to make patients with a terminal diagnosis aware of their option to receive a prescription of lethal drugs to end their life, and only one doctor would be required to sign off on the patient’s eligibility and diagnosis. There is no mental health evaluation requirement of those who request assisted suicide, and the legislation contains few safeguards against elder abuse. Inevitably, as seen in other places, this law will expand beyond those who have a terminal diagnosis to people with disabilities, depression, or illnesses such as dementia and anorexia.   

Assisted suicide coerces medical providers into participating in suicides, turning the profession from one that restores and heals into one that also kills.  And the option of assisted suicide for some will end up limiting the healthcare choices of the rest of us.  As Catholics, we are called to instead create principled care models that support the medical needs and human dignity of all people. 

Take Action 

Send a message to your legislators asking them to reject assisted suicide and instead work to expand access to quality palliative and hospice care. Go a step further by subscribing to MN Alliance for Ethical Healthcare (www.ethicalcaremn.org) and learn more about what you can do ahead of the next hearing on this bill.  

Erosion of Rights Amendment 

There has been a lot of speculation leading up to the session about whether the House will vote to pass the so-called constitutional “Equal Rights Amendment” and add it to the ballot in the November election. The ERA is a trojan horse to weaken women’s rights. The current language goes beyond attempting to protect “sex” as a class, but rather would protect people based on their “gender identity or expression.” This would diminish the hard-earned rights and protections of women and could eliminate conscience rights and religious liberty of all Minnesotans by compelling them to acquiesce to gender ideology. 

Now, some legislative leaders are considering adding the “right to reproductive freedom” as language to the ERA to further entrench abortion rights and coerce Minnesotans into subsidizing it and participating in this practice.  

This is more political gamesmanship than it is real policy. There are state and federal laws that ban discrimination.  And Minnesota has already enacted several laws that protect the right to an abortion. This proposed constitutional amendment erases legitimate distinctions based on the sexual differences of men and women, erodes statutory and constitutional protections for conscience rights and religious liberty, and allows judges to punish dissenters who refuse to support the most extreme policies related to abortion and gender ideology.   

Take Action 

Visit mncatholic.org/action_21473 to reach out to state legislators and urge them to oppose the erosion of women’s rights and religious protections. Go a step further by exploring our ERA resource page and sharing it with your parish.   

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