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Mar. 9, 2005
Life-Issues Legislation on Capitol Hill

Please Contact Your Representative and/or Senators Accordingly



Law to Save Terri Schiavo Will Protect Others 
Senator Mel Martinez (R-FL) and Rep. Dave Weldon (R-FL) introduced The Incapacitated Person’s Legal Protection Act (H.R.1151 and S.539) on Tuesday, March 8, 2005. This bill could save the life of Terri Schiavo, who suffered a brain injury 15 years ago.

Although Terri is profoundly disabled, she is not in a coma, she responds to the people around her, and she is very much alive. However, because her husband, who is her legally appointed guardian, has denied her the therapy she should have, she relies on a feeding tube for nourishment. Terri’s parents have fought for years to prevent her husband, who is living with his girlfriend with whom he has two children, from having her feeding tube removed so that she will starve to death. Even though Terri’s parents are willing to take care of her for the rest of her life, the courts have rejected their pleas and at this point, it appears that all legal efforts to save her life have been exhausted.

The Incapacitated Person’s Legal Protection Act will give Terri Schiavo, and anyone else in a similar situation, the same Constitutional protection of due process as death row inmates. Present law does not explicitly recognize due process for an incapacitated individual and leaves the rights of disabled persons to the mercy of the courts.

The bill will not apply to circumstances where an advance medical directive is in effect. The Act simply provides a final avenue of review of the case to insure that a disabled person’s Constitutional rights of due process are maintained and that justice is done.

Tony Perkins, president of Family Research Council, said in a March 8th release, “In the United States we don’t execute people without due process and we shouldn’t execute the incapacitated by starvation. Beyond being cruel and unusual punishment, [for someone who never committed a crime] this is an opportunity for Congress to finally check the power of runaway courts.”

RNC/Life joins FRC in commending Senator Martinez and Congressman Weldon for taking the initiative and acknowledging a vital inconsistency in the process by which our courts determine the fate of those who cannot speak for themselves.

The court has ordered that Terri’s feeding tube be removed by March 18th. Therefore, this legislation must receive expedited attention. Please contact your Member of Congress and your Senators immediately and ask them to pass this bill right away.

Republican National
Coalition for Life

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