Pro-life Americans had reason to celebrate Tuesday night when citizens in several states voted for life in key ballot initiatives:

DEFEATED:  Massachusetts Q 2 – “Death with Dignity” (Assisted Suicide) Initiative

Massachusetts voters rejected an initiative legalizing physician assisted-suicide, protecting vulnerable people facing the end of life.  The so-called “Death with Dignity” initiative failed to provide even basic safeguards and would have opened the door to a litany of abuses and dangers.   Massachusetts’ citizens should be commended for standing by the principle that physician-assisted suicide does not affirm the life or the dignity of individuals facing serious illness or death. 

Massachusetts’ life-affirming action continues a promising trend of states defeating the efforts of euthanasia advocates to legalize assisted suicide.  In 2012, Georgia responded to an adverse state Supreme Court decision by enacting a law that makes it a felony to assist in another person’s suicide.  In 2011, the people of Idaho responded to pressure from euthanasia advocates to “find” legal recognition of physician-assisted suicide within their existing law by enacting a new law prohibiting it.   In 2010, a Connecticut court held that the state’s manslaughter statute “does not include any exception from prosecution for physicians who assist another individual to commit suicide.” Further, in Montana, efforts to codify the state supreme court’s opinion that state law does not prohibit assisted suicide have thus far failed.

APPROVED:  Montana Legislative Ref. No. 120: “Montana Parental Notification Measure”

A determined effort to protect Montana’s young girls prevailed Tuesday, when citizens voted to enact a law requiring parental notification prior to an abortion for minors 15 years of age and younger.  Prior attempts to protect pregnant minors and their unborn children in Montana were thwarted by the courts and Governor Brian Schweitzer.  By voting for L.R. 120, Montanans acted to protect girls from sexual abuse and exploitation and from the dangers inherent in abortion, while standing up for parental rights. 

Alabama Amendment 6,  Montana Legislative Referendum No. 122, Wyoming Constitutional Amendment A, and Missouri Senate Bill No. 464

Voters in three states—Alabama, Montana, and Wyoming—voted for state constitutional amendments providing that their citizens should not be compelled to participate in any healthcare system.  By doing so, they voted to protect the freedom of conscience of individuals, employers, and healthcare providers who object to providing or paying for certain services, such as abortion, contraception, and drugs with life-ending mechanisms of action. 

Similarly, voters in Missouri supported a measure prohibiting the establishment of a health insurance Exchange—required by the Affordable Care Act—by any means other than a legislative bill, an initiative petition, or a referendum.  In other words, the citizens voted to prohibit the governor from establishing an Exchange through an executive order.  Through this vote, citizens may successfully prevent Governor Jay Nixon, who is pro-abortion and who won re-election last night, from instituting new anti-life policies through the state’s insurance Exchange.

Unfortunately, a measure similar to those approved in Alabama, Montana, and Wyoming failed in Florida.

DEFEATED:  Florida Amend. 6 – “Florida Abortion Amendment”

Florida voters rejected the opportunity to stop their courts from perpetuating the false assertion that the Florida Constitution creates a broader “right” to abortion than that invented by the U.S. Supreme Court in Roe v. Wade.  Further, they failed to enshrine in their constitution the principle that the State of Florida may not expend public funds for abortions.