Rudy Giuliani’s Position on Terri Schiavo Doesn’t Impress Pro-Life Advocate

Bioethics   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Jan 1, 2009   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Rudy Giuliani’s Position on Terri Schiavo Doesn’t Impress Pro-Life Advocate Email this article
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by Steven Ertelt Editor
April 11
, 2007

Washington, DC ( — As more information has come in about Rudy Giuliani’s comments on the Terri Schiavo dispute, his position seems consistent with previous remarks he’s made. However, one pro-life advocate says he’s not impressed and not confident that Giuliani is on the same page as the pro-life movement.

As reported last week, the former New York City mayor made a campaign swing through Florida and told people there that he supported the state government’s efforts to save Terri Schiavo’s life.

"I thought it was appropriate to make every effort to give her a chance to stay alive," he said.

The New York Sun obtained a full transcript of the remarks to reporters on the subject.

Attempting to recall his past statements on the topic, Giuliani also said "I believe I did [support Congressional intervention to help Terri’s parents]."

"I think I said that I thought every effort should be made to keep her alive. I don’t know that I supported the, the whole thing to the very end, but I am not sure now," Giuliani added.

In fact, Giuliani told the New York Post on April 1, 2005, the day after Terri’s former husband Michael took her life, "I think the right decision would have been to keep the feeding tube in, under the circumstances of the case."

Responding to the comments, Gary Bauer, the head of American Values and a former GOP presidential candidate himself, told the New York Sun he thought he question caught Giuliani off guard.

"My first thought was, he didn’t seem ready for the question," he said. "It sounded like he was thinking about his answer as the question was asked."

Bauer told the Sun he wasn’t necessarily comforted by Giuliani’s remarks and didn’t think he fully shared the position of the pro-life community in supporting the right to life of disabled patients.

"I’m happy any time a competitor for the nomination tilts toward the pro-life side," he said but added, "When you put all of it together with his other opinions on life, to be charitable, it seems confused at best."

The leading GOP contender for the Republican nomination for president also spoke further about the case last week, giving some hint at what his public policy might be as president.

"My general view is you should do everything you can to keep somebody alive unless they have expressed a strong interest in not having very, very special things done; extraordinary things done," Giuliani said.

"Obviously, you gotta do the ordinary and regular things and even some of the extraordinary things that’s a legal matter and when you get into the area of discretion, as best we can tell we should follow the wishes of the person and their loved ones and in that particular case it was a dispute," he added.