Civil Rights Icon Dolores Huerta Partners with End-of-Life Care Advocacy Group to Launch Multi-State Bilingual Education Campaign

‘Si Se Puede’ Champion Records Online Videos to Urge Fellow Hispanics to Support Medical Aid-in-Dying Bill in New Mexico, New Jersey, New York & Nevada
February 28, 2019

Civil rights icon Dolores Huerta today joined Compassion & Choices to launch a statewide bilingual education campaign featuring online videos promoting legislation to expand end-of-life care options in New Mexico, Nevada, New Jersey and New York on Facebook and Twitter.

The ‘End of Life Options FOR ALL’ campaign, features Dolores Huerta in video and print urging fellow Hispanics to join her in support of a bill that would allow terminally ill New Mexicans to have the option of medical aid in dying.

The video campaign is being launched as legislators in New Mexico consider the Elizabeth Whitefield End of Life Options Act (HB 90/SB 153), a bill that would allow mentally capable, terminally ill adults in New Mexico with six months or fewer to live the option to get a doctor’s prescription for medication they can decide to take to die peacefully if their suffering becomes intolerable.

Dolores Huerta at her daughters’ home in Los Angeles. Photo by J. Emilio Flores

On Wednesday, the New Mexico Legislature unanimously passed a Senate memorial declaring February 27, 2019 as Dolores Huerta Day.” Legislators, some in tears, also passed a resolution to honor ‘New Mexico’s daughter’ by naming Dolores Huerta Avenue or Avenida Dolores Huerta in Albuquerque.  The street will connect with Cesar Chavez Avenue or Avenida Cesar Chavez, the only one in the nation to connect with both names.

The New Mexico Senate Public Affairs Committee approved SB 153 on Tuesday for consideration by the Senate Judiciary Committee. The House Judiciary and the Health & Human Services Committees earlier this month voted to approve HB 90 for consideration by the full House. It is currently waiting to be calendared. Prior to the legislative session, the city councils of Las Cruces, Santa Fe and Albuquerque voted on bipartisan resolutions in support of medical aid in dying.

“I watched my mother, Alicia St. John Chavez, die in agony from breast cancer,” Dolores says in the videos. “Thankfully, New Mexico lawmakers are considering a bill that will allow terminally ill adults to end unbearable suffering under the care of doctors and surrounded by their loved ones. Please urge lawmakers to pass end of life options by visiting”

Dolores Huerta, born in Dawson, New Mexico, is an iconic labor and civil rights leader and president of the Dolores Huerta Foundation. She is known for her famous line ‘Si Se Puede’ or ‘Yes We Can.’ In 2012, she was honored with the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation’s highest civilian honor.

“We are grateful to Dolores Huerta for standing up for terminally ill New Mexicans and for advocating for access to compassionate healthcare options at the end of their lives,” said Elizabeth Armijo, regional campaign & outreach manager for Compassion & Choices. “Dying New Mexicans deserve to choose options that align with their values.”

Similar bills are also being considered in New York, New Jersey and Nevada, states with a large Hispanic population, so Ms. Huerta also has recorded videos promoting them.

New Mexico Educational Videos



As part of the campaign, Compassion & Choices recreated the iconic photo, known as ‘Huelga’ shot in September 1965. The image, once exhibited at the Smithsonian, shows a young Dolores holding a sign with the word “Huelga’ or ‘Strike’ during the grape strike and boycott, which led to the field workers’ first contract with California table grape growers. To view the photo, click HERE.

Sixty-five percent of New Mexicans support medical aid in dying legislation, including 58 percent of New Mexican Catholics. And the vast majority (88%) of voters agree with the statement “how a terminally ill person chooses to end his/her life should be an individual decision and not a government decision.”

Hispanics nationwide overwhelmingly support state laws authorizing the option of medical aid in dying for terminally ill adults, so they do not have to suffer needlessly at life’s end. Thanks to support of Latinos like Dolores Huerta, Hollywood actor Mauricio Ochmann, Miguel Carrasquillo, a 35 year old former New York chef who advocated for this option before his death in his native Puerto Rico; and Dan Diaz, the husband of the late medical aid in dying advocate Brittany Maynard, today 69 percent of Latinos nationwide support medical aid in dying.

Brittany was a terminally ill California woman who moved to Oregon in 2014, so she could use its medical aid-in-dying law because California did not have one at the time. Her advocacy inspired California to pass a medical aid in dying law in 2015, Since then, there has been a growing support of national Latino organizations that include the Hispanic Council on Aging, the Latino Commission on AIDS, Hispanic Health Network, Latinos for Healthcare Equity, most recently, Nuestra Salud in New Mexico.

Brittany’s advocacy also inspired Colorado, the District of Columbia and Hawai‘i to pass laws authorizing medical aid in dying since she died on Nov. 1, 2014. Thanks to previously passed laws in Oregon, Washington, and Vermont, and a Montana Supreme Court ruling, nearly one-fifth of the nation’s population has access to this end of life option.

Hispanic support played a key role in enacting the End of Life Option Act in California, which went into effect in 2016. In fact, Dolores showed her support by advocating for the bill when legislators were still uncertain if they would support it.

Compassion & Choices
Media Contacts

Sean Crowley
Media Relations Director
[email protected]

Patricia A. González-Portillo
National Latino Media Director
[email protected]
(323) 819 0310

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