Those For and Against Right-to-Die Bill Rally Outside Capitol

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SACRAMENTO --

Two sides of an emotionally charged debate, demonstrated on two different sides of the Capitol in Sacramento on Thursday.

"They say 'well, they have six months to live.' I'm one of the people who've been given that diagnosis -- time and time again," said Laurie Hoirup, a disability advocate.

Confined to a wheelchair, Hoirup says people with disabilities like herself face an existential threat from the bill.

"I heard one of my members cry out to die ... begging God to die, because of their pain and their suffering," said Pastor Madison Shockley of Pilgrim United Church of Christ.

Those who support the bill, like Pastor Shockley, say it's about personal choice in the last days of life -- a choice with safeguards and physician consultation, about how people with a terminal illness pass away.

But those opposed to the bill say it will put pressure on the disabled and depressed to end their lives early, even with the possibility of good years still to come.

Once the bill is delivered to the governor's desk, Jerry Brown has about two weeks to act on the bill. He can pass it, veto it, or remain silent, in which case it would would become law because it has already been approved by the State Legislature.