NJ Columbiettes: Legislation/Respect Life Newsletter – April 2019

LEGISLATIVE ACTION: The New Jersey Aid in Dying for the Terminally Ill Act passed in the New Jersey Legislature on March 23, 2019. The bill allows anyone with a prognosis six months or less to live get a prescription for life- ending medication. The bill passed with 21 votes in the Senate and 41 votes in the Assembly. The bill now goes to Governor Murphy who has pledged to support it. Contact your representatives to voice your opposition to the bill.

PEOPLE OF LIFE AWARD: This award recognizes Catholics who exemplify the call by Pope Saint John Paul II in The Gospel of Life (Evangelium Vitae, 1995) to dedicate themselves to pro-life activities and to promote respect for the dignity of the human person. The 2018 People of Life Awards recognize the lifetime achievements of three individuals: an advocate for persons with disabilities, a diocesan priest involved in abortion healing ministry, and a leader in the effort to oppose assisted suicide.* Janice Benton has been the executive director of the National Catholic Partnership on Disability. She “has been a prophetic voice in upholding the dignity of every human life, especially the marginalized and those at risk of neglect or assisted suicide.” Msgr. Joseph A. Ranieri,a priest for sixty years, is the Coordinator of Pastoral Care of Priests in the Archdiocese of Washington. “Monsignor Ranieri assists his diocesan Project Rachel Ministry in many capacities. He is also a member of the Project Rachel Ministry National Training Team for the U. S. Conference of Catholic Bishops.” James J. Hanson was honored posthumously “for his tireless efforts to oppose assisted suicide and for his own personal witness to the dignity of every human person, especially those facing a terminal illness.” *Source: United States Conference of Catholic Bishops Legislative Information: The Pain- Capable Unborn Child Protection Act (previously designated as A3452/S2026) did not pass in the past two-year session. The new bill numbers are A1686 and S2026. Both bills are awaiting hearings in committee. The New Jersey Aid in Dying for the Terminally Ill Act, Ai504, is currently in the second reading in the Assembly and S1027, the corresponding bill, is in the Senate Health Committee. Neither bill is scheduled for legislative action at this time. As always, contact your local congressional legislators and senators to voice your opinions on these bills. *

Prayer for Life and Dignity: Eternal God, creator and sustainer of life, bless us with the courage to defend all life from the moment of conception to natural death. Bless us with the strength to respect all peoples from east to west, from north to south, so that we may truly follow the call of Jesus to be neighbor. We ask this in the name of Jesus, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, Amen *Source: Legislative Information and Bill Room, Office of Legislative Services, New Jersey State Legislature

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