SACRAMENTO, CA, October 5, 2015 (LifeSiteNews) — California governor Jerry Brown today signed his state's first assisted-suicide law. The law allows doctors to prescribe drugs to terminally ill patients that will enable them to easily kill themselves.
In a statement, Brown wrote that he has “carefully read the thoughtful opposition materials presented by…doctors, religious leaders and those who champion disability rights.”
“I have also,” writes the governor, “read the letters of those who support the bill, including heartfelt pleas from Brittany Maynard's family and Archbishop Desmond Tutu.”
Brown concluded, “I was left to reflect on what I would want in the face of my own death. I do not know what I would do if I were dying in prolonged agony and excruciating pain. I am certain, however, that it would be a comfort to be able to consider the options afforded by this bill. And I wouldn't deny that right to others.”
Pro-life responses to Brown's signature of AB2X-15 were swift.
“Physician-assisted suicide does not affirm the life or dignity of those facing serious illnesses or death,” said Americans United for Life President and CEO Dr. Charmaine Yoest. “Instead, it opens the door to a litany of abuses of and dangers for extremely vulnerable people, and starts the slide down a 'slippery slope' towards legalized assisted suicide for those not faced with a terminal condition, including the disabled, and, ultimately, toward active or even involuntary euthanasia.
“A humane society takes care of the sick, handicapped or depressed, rather than making it easier to kill them.”
Americans United for Life also said in its release that the bill signed by the governor “fails to include some of the most basic legal protections for those considering physician-assisted suicide.”
Life Legal Defense Fund (LLDF) urged Brown to veto the bill earlier today, claiming that the AB2X-15 was illegally passed through the state legislature.
“While the California Constitution permits the Governor to issue proclamations to convene extraordinary legislative sessions, the Legislature is prohibited from enacting bills that are not the specific subject of the proclamation,” wrote the pro-life Christian legal group.
The session that passed the assisted-suicide law was expressly called for by Brown to find financial fixes to the state's Medicaid program, Medi-Cal. LLDF noted that “the Governor himself has stated that the extraordinary session was not the proper vehicle for AB2X-15…”
The law will take effect 90 days after the current session ends, which is expected to be no earlier than January — meaning the law will not take effect until next spring, at the earliest.