Legislation introduced to prevent suicide, strengthening penalties for those who encourage it

HARRISBURG, Pa. -- A bill aimed to help prevent suicide will be unveiled at the state house on Thursday. The new piece of legislation would penalize those who encourage or aide suicide, and it's named after a York County woman who died earlier this year.

State Representative, Dawn Keefer is the one behind the legislation titled Shawn's Law, named after Shawn Shatto.

Shatto committed suicide in her parents Newberry Township home, after following step by step instructions she got from an online forum.

Her mom, Jacqueline Bieber says people on the site were telling her daughter what drugs to mix to kill herself and were wishing her 'good luck and 'safe travels' -- she says no one gave her the option for help.

According to officials suicide claims the lives of nearly 2,000 Pennsylvanians each year, on average thats five times a day.
The bill would add new criminal penalties to anyone encouraging another person to take their life. Keefer says she does not think current penalties are harsh enough.
The full details into the bill will be released at 10:00 a.m., at the state capitol. Shawn's parents are expected to attend to share their story and advocate for change.
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