Bishop Jaime Soto, from the Diocese of Sacramento and president of the California Catholic Conference, delivered this homily during the Mass of Reparation on January 22, 2018, the anniversary of the Roe v. Wade decision:
Reverence for Life
We hold life sacred from conception to natural death. We support policies and services that assist pregnant women to make life-affirming choices. We advocate for restrictions on the practice and public funding of abortion. We support stem cell research that does not destroy or clone human embryos. We support patient-focused, quality end-of-life care and oppose legalizing assisted suicide. We oppose the use of the death penalty.
Download a backgrounder on Reverence for Life (updates coming soon)
Organizations opposed to physician-assisted suicide responded to an Assembly hearing held today which was called to evaluate implemention of assisted-suicide by doctors in California but instead appeared to be more a call for expansion of the practice and a lessening of safeguards to protect the vulnerable:
Although physician-assisted suicide became legal in California in 2016, its advocates continue pushing to embed it deeply into the structure of California’s health care policies, to broaden its reach to non-terminal patients and to expand the controversial concept to other states.
The last two objectives have not made much headway, especially with many states rejecting the role of physicians in hastening the death of their patients.
A highly controversial bill that would require California public colleges to provide abortion-inducing medication to students is returning to the Legislature in 2018. SB 320 (Leyva, D-Chino) was introduced last year but stalled in the Senate Education Committee. As the Legislature operates on a two-year session schedule, SB 320 is eligible to be brought up again this year and will be heard in the Senate Education Committee on January 10th at the State Capitol.
Since the California Legislature rushed into law the authority for doctors to provide lethal drug prescriptions to sick Californians, proponents hoped it would create a cascading effect in other states and jurisdictions.
It has not.
In the ceaseless crusade to eliminate any conceivable barrier to abortion and reproductive rights and make life difficult for religious employers, the National Abortion and Reproductive Rights Action League (NARAL) is inventing “problems” that need “solutions.”
The latest is AB 569 by Assembly Member Lorena Gonzales Fletcher (D-San Diego) which imagines a widespread threat to reproductive rights despite the fact that they cite only one such case in California – and that was back in 2012.
Physician-assisted suicide (PAS) failed by a single vote recently to move forward in the Nevada Legislature as PAS advocates press their legalization campaign across the country. When the Nevada Legislature adjourned last week, the measure also expired.
Courageous testimony from a California mother, Stephanie Packer, helped impact the debate in Nevada. Packer is a 34-year-old Orange County mother of four, diagnosed with terminal lung cancer in 2012 and at that point told she had three years to live.
With questionable accountability and therapy records, the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine (CIRM) will likely soon be coming back to California coffers for another bankroll. One California lawmaker thinks the taxpayers should have a say in that.
In their Making Sense of Bioethics newsletter, the National Catholic Bioethics Center takes a look at the complicated moral and ethical problems raised by surrogacy:
In an odd and unexplained rule change proposal, California may ban chaplains from meeting with death row prisoners nearer than three hours before their scheduled execution.
The California Department of Corrections (CDCR) is engaged in a detailed revision of its procedures for ending the lives of prisoners sentenced to death. The elaborate set of rules specifies in minute detail death drug formulation, testing, staff training, protocols and numerous other aspects of executions.