This has been a year full of milestones.
For the first time, two states—Maine and New Jersey—passed death with dignity laws in a single year, joining seven other states and Washington, D.C. in making medical aid in dying available to patients with terminal illness.
Our victory in Maine, many years in the making, could not have happened without the contributions of thousands of supporters across the country.
With the passage of two new laws this year, our movement hit another milestone. As of this writing, 70 million Americans have access to a death with dignity law.
This monumental progress is only possible because of supporters like you, who believe in the power of our movement and step up to contribute. You helped us build momentum and break through the noise when it mattered most.
Also in 2019:
Hawaii’s Our Care, Our Choice Act went into effect in January. We began our work to achieve policy reform in the Aloha State nearly two decades ago.
We helped launch a new grassroots organization in New Hampshire. State-based advocates who have joined New Hampshire Death with Dignity’s efforts have been meeting with current and former legislators as well as Death with Dignity staff to grow support for assisted dying legislation. Our new State Leadership Incubator Manager, Valerie Lovelace (pictured below) works with advocates in states across the country to provide tools and training to help them lead successful advocacy campaigns.
We doubled down on our work in Massachusetts, testifying at a June hearing on the End of Life Options Act and meeting with lawmakers to push for passage of the bill. Religious leaders and other people of faith have been outspoken in their support of death with dignity legislation. Our friend Sylvia Shaw, a devout Christian, wrote a powerful piece for our website, “The End of Life Options Act: A Religious Defense.” Read it here.
We celebrated the 25th anniversary of the passage of the Oregon Death with Dignity Act. Our short film, “Voices of a Movement,” chronicles the history of death with dignity from the perspective of individuals who have played a leading role in passing and protecting death with dignity laws across the U.S.
We have achieved so much this year, but there is still much work to be done. In 2020 we will be strengthening our campaigns in states with active bills, such as Maryland, Massachusetts, and New York. At the same time, we will help early-stage grassroots organizations in Arizona, New Hampshire, Virginia, and other states build capacity and learn the basics of effective advocacy.
With your help, we can lay the foundation for policy change across the country.
Thank you for standing with us every step of the way.