by Steven Ertelt
March 31, 2005
Washington, DC (LifeNews.com) — President George W. Bush reacted to Terri Schiavo’s death on Thursday morning and said he joined millions of Americans who are saddened by her passing.
"Today millions of Americans are saddened by the death of Terri Schaivo. Laura and I extend our condolences to Terri Schaivo’s families," he said.
"I appreciate the example of grace and dignity they have displayed at a difficult time," the president added.
"The essence of civilization is that the strong have a duty to protect the weak," Bush said. "In cases where there are serious doubts and questions, the presumption should be in favor of life."
"I urge all those who honor Terri Schiavo to continue to work to build a culture of life, where all Americans are welcomed and valued and protected, especially those who live at the mercy of others," he said.
President Bush stepped into the Terri Schiavo debate when he signed Congressional legislation requiring courts to stop Terri’s painful starvation death and to let her parents move forward with their lawsuit.
Three Florida courts and three federal courts ignored the legislation, saying Terri’s parents were not likely going to win their case to protect Terri.
"We felt like the actions taken with Congress was the best course of action," Bush said last week defending the bill he signed.
"This is an extraordinary and sad case, and I believe that, in a case such as this, the legislative branch and the executive branch ought to err on the side of life," Bush added.
Although pressed by some pro-life advocates to do more, White House press secretary Scott McClellan said attorneys for the president could find no other legal solution.
"There really are not other legal options available to us. We have explored all our options previously," he told reporters.
Signing the bill, Bush said he would "stand on the side of those defending life for all Americans, including those with disabilities."
Related news stories:
Terri Schiavo Case Reveals How We Treated Disabled Americans
Related web sites:
Terri Schiavo’s parents – https://www.terrisfight.org