God would approve right-to-die legislation, according to California lawmakers who brought such a bill one step closer to reality on Wednesday.
A 42-33 vote in favor of The End of Life Option Act moved the bill over to the state Senate, which had voted in favor of a similar measure. Lawmakers on both sides of the issue "invoked their religious faith in arguing for and against the legislation," the Associated Press reported.
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"I as a Christian do not pretend to know what God has in mind for all of us, why there is pain or suffering in this world. But I do know he is a merciful God. And we have the ability to allow others to have a choice," said Republican Assemblywoman Catharine Baker of Pleasanton, AP reported. "I believe it is cruel — nothing short of cruel — to deny them that choice in their final hours and final days."
The impetus for the bill came after 29-year-old brain cancer patient Brittany Maynard moved from California to Oregon to take her life, the Los Angeles Times reported. Efforts to pass similar legislation stalled after passage in the state Senate when the Catholic Church and other religious groups mounted a successful lobbying effort.
Gov. Jerry Brown, a lifelong Catholic, has not clarified his stance on the legislation, AP reported. The bill was introduced in conjunction with health care financing legislation as part of a special legislative session called by the Democratic governor.