This article was published on the Not Dead Yet website on May 12, 2016.
On Tuesday, May 10th, two van loads of disability rights activists from the Center for Disability Rights in Rochester, NY joined with center for independent living advocates from across the state to oppose bills that would legalize assisted suicide.
The activists began by occupying a pro-assisted suicide press conference room, wearing hot pink tshirts and signs that could not be ignored, as reported by NY State of Politics in the following excerpt:
Still, the press conference on Tuesday on the third floor of the Capitol outside of the Senate chambers was attended by opponents of the legislation. Clad in neon pink t-shirts from a coalition of disability rights groups called Not Dead Yet, critics of aid-in-dying policies say it could lead to the cheaper alternative of ending the life of a vulnerable patient rather than caring for them.
“The bill doesn’t account for that,” said Todd Vaarwerk, a Buffalo resident. “The bill says OK, you can affirmatively do this. We believe people with disabilities will be the primary people affected by this legislation and we’ve got years of evidence to support that.”
The activists also delivered their message outside legislative chambers, as shown in photos.
A local television station in Rochester followed up by interviewing CDR’s Director of Advocacy, Stephanie Woodward, on video for broadcast on May 11.