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California Gov. Jerry Brown signed a controversial bill Monday that allows for physicians to aid patients in ending their lives under certain circumstances.

Brown, who in his youth studied to become a Jesuit priest, wrote in a rare signing message for the bill that he considered the theological and religious perspectives that define any form of suicide as a sin.

“In the end, I was left to reflect on what I would want in the face of my own death,” the governor wrote.

After a contentious battle getting through the Legislature, the bill, ABx2-15, was ultimately carried by Assembly member Susan Eggman Talamantes, (D- Stockton).

California is the sixth state to legalize assisted suicide.

The issue grew in prominence when a young Californian woman named Brittany Maynard moved to Oregon in order to lawfully end her own life last November.

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