The California Senate is currently considering two significant bills that threaten the dignity of life, SB245 & SB380. The Respect Life Ministries of the Diocese of Sacramento have been working hard doing advocacy and outreach, organizing our people to make their voices heard in opposition to these bills. During the month of August, in the Diocese of Sacramento, we collected more than 3,000 letters for each bill. Thirteen parishes hosted tables after Sunday Masses to allow parishioners to sign letters of opposition. We had parishioners call their district members to voice their concerns. Many of them dropped off the letters at their representatives’ local offices or the State Capitol.
Following is a progress report:
SB245: This bill seeks to prohibit insurance companies from imposing co-pays, deductibles, or any other cost-sharing for abortion. The bill was stalled in the Assembly Appropriations Committee. This means it will NOT be up for voting this year, but it may come up again next year. We still need to encourage the faithful to urge their representatives to vote NO on this bill and remain vigilant as this bill progresses.
SB380: This bill seeks to expand access to physician-assisted suicide by reducing patient mental health "safeguards" and removing the sunset date on the current law. There was a small but significant change in this bill. The Assembly Appropriations Committee added the sunset provision back into the bill. The law will expire in 2031.
We still urge a NO vote on this bill. Should it pass, the revised sunset provision, which gives us time to work for greater patient "safeguards" and care for the whole person.
We are continuing to ask clergy and parishioners to call their district members and sign letters opposing SB 380. Visit our webpage: https://www.scd.org/family-and-faith-formation/advocacy. There you will find ways to get in touch with your district member or sign opposition letters.
On the federal level, we must continue to advocate for the Hyde Amendment, the Weldon Amendment, and other life-saving measures in the Reconciliation Bill in Congress. Go to www.notaxpayerabortion.com or call your congressional representatives. Tell them to include the Hyde Amendment in the Reconciliation Bill.
The legislature in our state and federal governments continue to push bills that threaten the life of our most vulnerable citizens. I am hoping that this update gives us encouragement to continue the fight to protect all. We are all called to be a witness of God's love. Let us be an instrument of hope to those around us. We ask the intercession of our Blessed Mother Mary to sustain us in doing the good work of her Son, Jesus.