The following was posted by Katy Grimes on the Sept. 8 Flash Report.
It’s a dark day in California politics when a bill supporting life is killed before even being assigned to a legislative committee, and a bill pushing assisted suicide gets Republican votes.
Two California Republicans helped pass the revived assisted suicide bill, thereby helping Democrats fast track it.
Following the release of several horrific videos exposing top Planned Parenthood directors negotiating to sell aborted fetus organs and tissue to the highest bidders, Assemblyman Jim Patterson introduced a bill to eliminate state funding for any clinic in California that provides fetal tissue for research in exchange for money.
The Fetal Tissue Exploitation Prevention Act was introduced Aug. 3 in response to the undercover videos by the Center for Medical Progress showing Planned Parenthood officials casually discussing the practice of providing aborted babies in exchange for payment.
Patterson’s bill was killed by the Assembly Rules Committee before it ever even got assigned a committee.
At the same Assembly Rules Committee hearing where they refused to put Patterson’s pro-life bill on the agenda, the assisted dying bill, which had been killed previously, and was just reintroduced using a new bill number, ABX2-15, received enough votes to make it out to its first hearing.
ABX2-15 is by Assemblywoman Susan Talamantes Eggman, D-Stockton, Senators Bill Monning, D-Carmel, and Lois Wolk, D-Davis, the same three bill authors of the recently shelved SB 128, the End of Life Option Act.
SB 128 couldn’t get any traction at all in committee because there were enough Democrats who opposed it. Six Latino Democrats on the Assembly Health Committee would not support it after Los Angeles Archbishop Jose H. Gomez spoke out fervently against the bill. “The compassion that doctor-assisted suicide offers is hollow,” Archbishop Gomez said. “And this legislation has dangerous implications for our state, especially for the poor and vulnerable.”
Eggman, Monning and Wolk, all Democrats, took advantage of a special session of the California legislature, called by Gov. Jerry Brown, to jam the pro-death bill through. This is an abuse of the legislative process, and should concern all Californians.
Assemblywoman Eggman insists assisted suicide has worked so well in Oregon, that there are no court cases against it. However, in Oregon, the law was written with a clause protecting those involved in an assisted suicide from lawsuits.
“The risk of mistake and coercion and abuse are really too great,” said Diane Coleman, founder and CEO of Not Dead Yet, an advocacy group that informs and lobbies on behalf of the disabled.
What is also concerning are the Republicans who have voted in support of this bill – apparently all part of the newly arranged committee to make sure the previous “no” votes were gone. Committee members Assemblywoman Catharine Baker, R-San Ramon, and Assemblyman Brian Maienschein, R-San Diego, voted to pass ABX2-15 from the Assembly Public Health and Developmental Services Committee.
Baker, the only elected Republican in the Legislature from the San Francisco Bay area, now finds herself in hot water. The Patients Rights Action Fund has been calling voters in her district, expressing their dismay with her “breaking ranks with Republicans,” and “cutting political deals with liberal Democrats.” I was told that Baker even had cover from Assembly minority leader Kristen Olsen on her vote. What’s up is definitely down right now in the California Legislature, if Olsen did indeed break ranks with the Republican Party Platform, which states: “The California Republican Party is the party that protects innocent life because we believe life begins at conception and ends at natural death.“
Even Gov. Jerry Brown shared displeasure with the bill’s special session introduction. Brown called the Extraordinary Session to pass $6 billion in transportation taxes. He said it is not the proper place or process to try to implement the controversial assisted suicide bill.