Following a failed petition drive to turn back doctor-assisted suicide in California, Americans are being warned to be ready for a similar fight in their state.
Last fall, the California Assembly passed a bill legalizing assisted suicide; it was then signed into law by Governor Jerry Brown. This week, a petition drive to let Californians vote to reject the End of Life Option Act fell short of enough valid signatures to put it before the people.
So – what now? Brian Johnston, director of California Right to Life, tells OneNewsNow the next action could be in the courts.
"[There are] several attorneys, [and] it looks like there may be several court cases," he begins, "but more importantly we're looking at Californians, because the average Californian and the average American does not understand what assisted suicide really is: that it's the use of medicine to kill a vulnerable patient."
Oregon, Washington, and the Netherlands – where doctor-assisted suicide is legal – all report abuses, such as people requesting death because they are lonely or depressed or don't want to grow old.
Johnston says if a legal battle fails, Californians will soon learn how vulnerable they are. At the same time, he warns the rest of America to become educated.
"It's the emotional pain that people need help and counseling with," he explains. "And if you just give up and say Okay, I'll help you die, you're doing exactly the wrong thing .... This is the phenomenon that's sweeping our nation – and Christians in particular need to be equipped for this spiritual battle. And it's battle that may come to your very home."
The new law takes effect 90 days after this year's legislative session ends.