.- The nation's top pro-life organizations are urging Florida Gov. Jeb Bush to exercise his executive authority and intervene to save the life of Terri Schiavo, whose feeding tube was removed March 18. The pro-life groups joined to form the 11th Hour Coalition to Save Terri Schiavo's Life.
"It is unconscionable that Gov. Bush has not taken executive action to save the life of Terri Schiavo, an innocent woman being brutally murdered in a manner not witnessed publicly since the Nazis in World War II," said Paul Schenck of the National Pro-Life Action Center on behalf of the coalition.
"Frankly, we are baffled by the governor's recent assertion to the Associated Press that, '(he has) not seen any means by which the executive branch can get involved,'" Schenck said in a March 29 press release.
Schenck pointed out that the governor consulted with the Thomas More Law Center as to whether he had the executive authority to take Schiavo into protective custody. The Thomas More Law Center replied that he did, given that he is "vested with the supreme executive power" of the state.
"Given this compelling information, Gov. Bush's claim seems disingenuous," wrote Schenck. "He is the chief executive officer of the Florida state government, and therefore does not need the permission of the judiciary … or of the legislative branch to protect the innocent life of a citizen.
"Are we really to believe that the governor can commute the death sentence of a hardened criminal, but cannot stop the dehydration and starvation of a disabled American?" Schenck offered.
Schenck said the coalition appreciates all the governor has done to help Schiavo up until now, but it is not enough to stop there.
He suggested that governor must weigh whether he prefers to maintain his political power as governor at the expense of an innocent woman's life, or if he is "willing to ascend to the highest level of leadership, integrity and courage by saving Terri's life no matter what the personal consequence?"
Some of the coalition members include the National Pro-Life Action Center, Human Life International, Pro-Life Action League, Faith and Action, Priests for Life, Gospel of Life Ministries, National Clergy Council and Catholics United for Life.