Abortion’s Slippery Slope Led to Killing Terri Schiavo, We Must Never Forget

Bioethics   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Mar 29, 2010   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Abortion’s Slippery Slope Led to Killing Terri Schiavo, We Must Never Forget

by Maria Vitale
LifeNews.com Editorial Columnist
March 29, 2010

LifeNews.com Note: Maria Vitale is an opinion columnist for LifeNews.com. She is the Public Relations Director for the Pennsylvania Pro-Life Federation and Vitale has written and reported for various broadcast and print media outlets, including National Public Radio, CBS Radio, and AP Radio.

I’ll never forget where I was when I heard the awful news that Terri Schiavo had died.

I was on vacation, spending spring break with my daughter. And, while I relished the time I had with my little one, there was a sense of sadness, knowing that far away in Florida, a woman was being dehydrated and starved to death.

For me, the execution of Terri Schiavo is like President Kennedy’s assassination—something so unbelievable, so tragic, the pain continues, long after the victim has been laid to rest.

Last year, during the Pennsylvania Pro-Life Federation’s Celebrate Life Banquet, former Kansas Attorney General Phill Kline publicly apologized to Terri’s brother, Bobby Schindler, who had given a talk at the pro-life conference in Scranton earlier that day. In the banquet hall, before hundreds of people, Kline spoke of his deep sorrow about Terri’s untimely death, and he said that he believed that Bobby deserved an apology.

If only the perpetrators of that death would apologize, too.

Five years after the tragedy, myths and misinformation abound. When I speak at schools and ask students what they know about the Terri Schiavo case, they tell me she was brain-dead and that she was a vegetable—neither of which is true. Media accounts repeat the falsehoods about her life and death.

A part of me is still mystified that our judicial system could allow the execution of an innocent individual, whose only crime was that she was disabled. In the land of the free, how could such a monstrosity occur?

And yet, another part of me is not surprised. After all, when I was in seventh grade, our pro-life teacher drew a line on the blackboard connecting the word “abortion” with the word “euthanasia.” The killing of pre-born children leads to the killing of older people, people with disabilities, and people who are ill. Life is a tapestry, and when one thread has been pulled out by advocates of abortion, the rest of the threads begin to unravel.

2005, the year of Terri Schiavo’s death, can be traced to 1973, the year of the infamous Roe v. Wade court ruling legalizing abortion for any reason during all nine months of pregnancy.

The anniversary of Terri’s demise should mean some soul-searching for our nation. Have we become so callous that we have no compassion for one who, while different from ourselves, is no less human?

Each time we see a picture of Terri, the phrase “never forget” should come to mind. We should never forget that a beautiful woman was struck down in the prime of life, just because her existence was no longer convenient, her life dismissed as unworthy.

If ever there was a victim of wrongful judgment, it was Terri Schiavo.

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