Pro-Life Advocates Remember Terri Schiavo Five Years After Euthanasia Death

Bioethics   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Mar 31, 2010   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Pro-Life Advocates Remember Terri Schiavo Five Years After Euthanasia Death

by Steven Ertelt Editor
March 31
, 2010

Washington, DC ( — Five years after Terri Schiavo died as a result of a painful starvation and dehydration euthanasia death her former husband subjected her to, pro-life advocates haven’t forgotten. If anything, they are pushing forward with plans to do more to help the disabled and terminally ill.

Fr. Frank Pavone, the director of Priests for Life, remembers Terri as he was on-hand with the Schindler family in the hours before the minimally conscious woman died.

"On March 31, five years ago, Terri Schiavo died a court mandated and government enforced death," he told Wednesday morning.

"I saw for myself, as I held her hand and prayed at her bedside that this death was not ‘peaceful’ and ‘beautiful’ as euthanasia advocates want us to think," Pavone said. "Moreover, as health care is placed more and more in the hands of the government, we have to be more vigilant than ever to protect the Terris of today and tomorrow."

Following Terri’s death, Priests for Life and the Schindler family, Terri’s parents and siblings, established Terri’s Day as a means of fostering education, prayer, and activism to counter discrimination against the disabled.

Rob Schenck, the president of Faith and Action, is joining other pro-life advocates to place a single red rose at the gates of the White House to remind President Barack Obama that all human life should be respected.

"Nothing arrested the conscience of the nation like Terri’s suffering and needless death. Now, she continues her ministry by provoking us all to appreciate and value the worth and dignity of brain injury victims," he said. "Her life and death are not in vain."

Susan Armacost, the legislative director of Wisconsin Right to Life, recalls how Americans from across the country responded to the call to help Terri and her family.

"We remember it as if it was yesterday," she told

"For weeks, we mobilized thousands of Wisconsinites on behalf of federal legislation to prevent Terri’s death. Right-to-life organizations throughout the nation were doing the same. As a result, the U.S. Congress and President George W. Bush courageously saw to it that federal legislation was enacted to allow the Schindler family access to the federal courts to plead for the life of their daughter," she remembered.

In a series of acts of raw judicial power, the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals ignored the mandate of Congress to take into consideration Terri’s rights in a federal court proceeding.

The courts also ignored the Schindler family’s desire to care for their beloved daughter in their home.

"The Court seemed determined to end the life of Terri Schindler-Schiavo regardless of the rule of law or the norms of justice. From that point on, Terri was denied food and water and after thirteen excruciating days, her body succumbed to the horrific effects of starvation and dehydration," Armacost said.

"We gave thanks for those who traveled to the hospice where Terri lay to keep vigil as the starvation progressed and those who came forward to champion her cause," she added.

The prayers also went out to those who favored subjecting Terri to that painful death.

"And we prayed for a country that had lost its moral compass and allowed a helpless woman to die of starvation and dehydration while her worth as a human being was being debated. We also prayed for Terri’s husband, Michael Schiavo, that he would one day recognize what he had done and ask forgiveness for the death of his wife. Those prayers continue to this day," Armacost added.

"We will never forget you, Terri," she said.

Related webs sites:
Terri’s Fight –

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