Activism

How to help stop assisted suicide in California

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The California state Senate passed SB 128 close to party lines earlier this month. It is moving forward, and is set for a vote by the Committee on Health next week.

Isn’t it compassionate to give people who are suffering from terminal illnesses the choice to end their life in an allegedly peaceful way? How dare we take that choice away from them by saying this law shouldn’t pass?

I’ll tell you why.

If a troubled teen is dealing with suicidal thoughts, what do we do? We support suicide prevention programs, protect these individuals from dangerous situations, and help them recover so they can heal from the underlying problem. Why? Because their life matters.

If a woman dealing with postpartum depression is struggling with suicidal thoughts, what do we do? We help her, encourage her in the new role as a mom, and help her find the tools to recover and heal from postpartum depression. Why? Because her life matters.

If a person in either of these categories does choose to take their life through suicide, we mourn that loss. We know that suicide is wrong and sad.

Unless, of course, the person has a terminal illness.

In this case, we have individuals suffering from illnesses which are likely to end their lives in six months or less. What do we do? We’re encouraging them to end their lives. We say it’s a courageous choice to make.

A troubled teen, a woman suffering from postpartum depression, and an individual with a terminal illness are all suffering. But we don’t see news stories applauding the suicide of troubled teens and women suffering postpartum depression.

What is the difference? Why do we celebrate when one group commits suicide, but not the others? Why is it a horribly sad choice in most situations, but not all?

These are the questions we need to ask ourselves. We need to post these questions on social media and get conversations started. And we need to hold our legislators accountable when voting time comes. Suicide is sad and wrong in all situations, no matter what the person is suffering from.

Voting on SB 128 will take place at 2:30 p.m. PST in the California State Capitol, Room 4202. If you are a California resident, make your presence known!

Contact members of the Committee on Health to ask them to use their vote to protect life.

Give them a call with these numbers, or email them here.

  • Rob Bonta (Chair): (916) 319-2018
  • Brian Maienschein (Vice Chair): (916) 319-2077
  • Susan A. Bonilla: (916) 319-2014
  • Autumn R. Burke:  (916) 319-2062
  • Rocky J. Chávez: (916) 319-2076
  • David Chiu: (916) 319-2017
  • Jimmy Gomez: (916) 319-2051
  • Lorena S. Gonzalez: (916) 319-2080
  • Roger Hernández: (916) 319-2048
  • Tom Lackey: (916) 319-2036
  • Adrin Nazarian: (916) 319-2046
  • Jim Patterson: (916) 319-2023
  • Sebastian Ridley-Thomas: (916) 319-2054
  • Freddie Rodriguez: (916) 319-2052
  • Miguel Santiago: (916) 319-2053
  • Marc Steinorth: (916) 319-2040
  • Tony Thurmond: (916) 319-2015
  • Marie Waldron: (916) 319-2075
  • Jim Wood: (916) 319-2002

Women like Stephanie are counting on us to hold our legislators accountable. Babies are counting on us. Vulnerable individuals across our country are counting on you to stand up for the value of their life, by helping to stop the spread of assisted suicide.

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