Day of Death for Delaware

June 25th, 2024. That’s the day that Delaware attacked the sanctity and value of life at both ends.

HB 110 and HB 140 passed in the Senate chambers, their final steps before going to Governor Carney to be signed.  These bills mandate tax-funded abortion and legalize assisted suicide, respectively. We stand for life from the womb to the tomb; these two bills being passed on the same day felt as if the Delaware Legislature was making it clear that they do not share that same value or priority.

Throughout the legislative process, we heard support for both bills that sounded rather similar. Two ideas I’d like to point out in particular were that both of their implementations support removing financial burdens as well as empower the individual to make autonomous decisions. These ideas have grave implications for both abortion and assisted suicide.

That first idea, alleviating potential financial burden, presents a clear message. This message says that life can be defined with a monetary value and when weighed against one another, the financial one is the more important of the two. Actual citations for studies were provided during the taxpayer-funded abortion hearing to show that women are worse off financially when they are “unable to obtain an abortion.” Though no actual study was cited during the assisted suicide proceedings, it was alluded to on occasion.

We already know for sure that many who choose assisted suicide do so because they feel as if they’re a burden, financially or otherwise. Imagine legislators agreeing with that premise, that life isn’t worth keeping when faced with potential financial difficulties. This is absurd and cheapens the value of life! It is so much greater than any monetary value but is a direct correlation with humanity being the only creation made in the image of God, filled with His very breath. 

The second idea is one we’re more accustomed to hearing in support of these issues. It says that individuals ought to be allowed the autonomy to make their own decisions. This too is found lacking when we dissect what it really says. This so called “autonomy” is one-sided and limited. Do we not owe the preborn child the autonomous decision to live? If it’s about making decisions with your own body, the body inside the woman is another with unique biology. 

But what about the individual choosing assisted suicide? They’re most likely an adult with decision-making capacity, why aren’t they allowed autonomy? It is important to point out that the possibility of the individual requesting assisted suicide actually having decision-making capacity is questionable. The plethora of supposed safeguards still leave ample room for coercion and failure to recognize the potential presence of mental illness or depression in the patient. Even if they are completely of sound mind, there are limitations within our world that are placed on the individual. Autonomy is not a “right” without limitations–that would be anarchy. Part of the government’s role is to protect people’s lives, not legislate their death!

Death cannot be undone. It should not be the premise of the Legislature to pass death sentences or to pay for them with tax dollars. Our response to suffering should not be to eliminate the sufferer, but the suffering. Any other response is a reflection of a societal failure to provide adequate care and support.

While we await the Governor’s signature, or his veto, be prayerful! Pray that Carney will recognize the dark shadow of death that these bills will leave. This is his last year as Governor. Encourage him not to leave that shadow as part of his legacy.

Nandi Randolph
Policy Analyst

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