The Most Rev. Jaime Soto, Roman Catholic Bishop of Sacramento and President of the California Catholic Conference, released the following statement today concerning a US Supreme Court ruling overturning a California law restricting the free speech rights of crisis pregnancy centers. The law, called the “California Reproductive Freedom, Accountability, Comprehensive Care and Transparency Act” (“FACT Act”), singled out crisis pregnancy centers and required them to post signs and provide information about the availability of abortion services.
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.
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Next month marks the 50th anniversary of one of the most significant papal encyclical letters in recent history – Humanae Vitae – which was issued by Blessed Pope Paul VI on July 25, 1968.
The following statement is from Edward ‘Ned” Dolejsi, executive director of the California Catholic Conference, on the ruling by a Riverside Superior Court judge that the End-of-Life Options Act is unconstitutional:
“We are encouraged by yesterday’s ruling by a Superior Court judge in Riverside County overturning the state’s assisted suicide law. Our opposition to assisted suicide is no secret, but this legislation was also opposed by a broad coalition of doctors, nurses, seniors and the disabled community, who fought this bill for many, many reasons,” said Dolejsi.
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:
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.