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California bill would legalize assisted suicide for terminally ill

California legislators have introduced assisted suicide legislation modeled on Oregon's assisted suicide law, energized by the heartbreaking story of Brittany Maynard, a young woman with brain cancer, who moved from the San Francisco Bay Area to Oregon to end her own life Nov. 1.

Before her suicide, Maynard, 29, created videos asking for assisted suicide legislation that drew tens of millions of views, and her mother and husband are now campaigning for legalization.

Church complaint says abortion ruling coerces millions of Californians

The California Catholic Conference has filed a federal civil rights complaint protesting a state ruling mandating the inclusion of voluntary direct abortion -- including gender selection and late-term abortion -- in California health insurance policies.

"This is a coercive and discriminatory action by the state of California," said Auxiliary Bishop Robert McElroy of San Francisco, who is chair of the Institutional Concerns Committee of the California Catholic Conference, the public advocacy arm of the state's bishops.

Court says atheist was wrongly jailed over religious rehab

An atheist parolee should be compensated by California after the state returned him to prison for refusing to participate in a religiously-oriented rehabilitation program, a federal court ruled Aug. 23.

A three-judge panel of the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals unanimously ruled that a lower court judge erred when he denied Barry A. Hazle Jr., a drug offender and an atheist, a new trial after a jury awarded him no damages.

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February 27- March 12, 2015

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