Biden’s HHS nominee supported assisted suicide in California

By Christine Rousselle for CNA

Credit: Mark Van Scyoc/Shutterstock

Washington D.C., Feb 22, 2021 / 06:00 pm (CNA).- President Joe Biden’s nominee for Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS) received the praise of pro-euthanasia organizations during his time as attorney general of California.

Xavier Becerra, who has served as California’s attorney general since 2017, was praised by pro-euthanasia groups as he fought in court to preserve the state’s assisted suicide law, the End of Life Option Act.

When the Riverside County Superior Court in 2018 overturned the law–finding that the state legislature unlawfully passed it during a 2015 special session–Becerra filed an appeal objecting to the court’s decision.

In June, 2018, the Fourth District Appellate Court sided with Becerra and the state of California and stayed the superior court’s decision, reinstating the End of Life Option Act.

Becerra called the ruling “an important step to protect and defend the End of Life Option Act for our families across the state.”

He defended the law, saying that the ruling “provides some relief to California patients, their families, and doctors who have been living in uncertainty while facing difficult health decisions.”

Later in Jan., 2020, the Riverside County Superior Court upheld the End of Life Option Act, determining that it was lawfully passed and did not violate the state constitution.

In response to this ruling, Compassion & Choices–an advocacy organization that pushes for expanded legalization of assisted suicide–praised Becerra for his work on behalf of the state’s assisted suicide law.

“We appreciate Attorney General Becerra’s efforts in this legal battle that already has lasted 3-1/2 years, but we will not rest until we win this case outright on behalf of terminally ill Californians who depend on this law to ensure they can die peacefully, ”said Kevin Díaz, the chief legal advocacy officer for Compassion & Choices in Jan., 2020.

Compassion & Choices also promoted a “Thank you Xavier Becerra” form as part of its advocacy for the law.

“Attorney General Xavier Becerra is standing up for Californians by fighting to ensure we have the right to make end-of-life decisions with dignity,” said Compassion & Choices.

“Our Attorney General isn’t alone – the vast majority of Californians support this law, and terminally ill Californians and their families deserve better than to have this option ripped away from them,” they said.

A coalition of pro-life groups have already sounded the alarm about Becerra’s nomination as HHS Secretary, pointing to his record in support of pro-abortion causes as California’s attorney general.

Becerra is scheduled to appear before two Senate committees this week, on Tuesday and Wednesday, for his confirmation hearings.

The group Students for Life of America has launched a paid and earned media campaign in ten states, urging voters to call their senators daily in opposition to Becerra’s nomination.

They have targeted ten senators in particular: Sens. Maggie Hassan (D-N.H.), Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.), Raphael Warnock (D-Ga.), Susan Collins (R-Maine), Mitt Romney (R-Utah), Lisa Murkowski (D-Alaska), Bob Casey (D-Pa.), Michael Bennett (D-Colo.), Jon Tester (D-Mont.), and Kyrsten Sinema (D-Ariz.).

Seven senators and dozens of House members also wrote President Biden on Monday, asking him to rescind Becerra’s nomination. They cited Becerra’s defense of state mandates that forced pro-life pregnancy centers to advertise for abortion.

“Mr. Becerra’s extremism and contempt for those who take a different view contradict your calls for unity,” the members told Biden. “His appointment would sow further division at a time our country needs to heal and would endanger lives at a time our citizens need life-saving treatments, vaccinations, and the freedom to work and worship together.”

If you value the news and views Catholic World Report provides, please consider donating to support our efforts. Your contribution will help us continue to make CWR available to all readers worldwide for free, without a subscription. Thank you for your generosity!

Click here for more information on donating to CWR. Click here to sign up for our newsletter.


  1. Here’s a strange idea. If you don’t want assisted suicide then don’t ask for it. What choices others make about their life is their choice. Unless someone asks for a priest or religious persons opinion it’s none of the churches concern. If you want to keep the tax free benefits you receive then keep your governmental views to yourself. Religions are the cause of more death, hate, discrimination, and division among people it’s become an oxymoron. The ONLY thing that god supposedly put his hand and gave his rules were the 10 commandments, it’s really confusing how those 10 things are the first ignored when it comes to man in charge of the church gaining more power or authority. If god were to give any rights to us. There would only be 2 a safe place to call home and a full stomach. Since those rights are not given (even though there are enough supplies to go around) it’s clear the god in that book is not real. It’s a political document meant to scare and control simple minded people without the ability to follow simple LOGIC.
    Let’s promote humane and empathetic treatment no matter where someone is born or the color of their skin. A child born in the US and China and Guatemala should all be treated equally. Imaginary lines drawn in the sand determined by the bloodshed of others doesn’t make anyone better or more deserving than someone else. Until we can stop thinking in terms of white race or lack race or Indian, Chinese, Iranian, native Americans, and think more as the human race as one people things will continue to escalate and more war and bloodshed to concentrate authority to a smaller group of people is bound to happen. Whats really sad is that it’s the actions and choices of grown adults that send others to die. I think it should be different. If Putin and Biden can’t seem to negotiate an agreement and they come to the conclusion that a fight needs to happen. Then call the UFC and put them in the cage and they can fight it out and leave the people out of it. Not trying to be so combative. Just tired of watching things go to hell and the real issues are still ignored or made worse by dividing us up into categories and labels, then push issues that play one group against the other. All the while continuing to increase their own wealth or power. No one else seems to see it.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

All comments posted at Catholic World Report are moderated. While vigorous debate is welcome and encouraged, please note that in the interest of maintaining a civilized and helpful level of discussion, comments containing obscene language or personal attacks—or those that are deemed by the editors to be needlessly combative or inflammatory—will not be published. Thank you.