Pro-family groups praise President, Congress for defending Terri’s life

.- Pro-family organizations are praising President George W. Bush and Congress for passing legislation early Monday, defending the life of Terri Schiavo, a 41-year-old disabled woman whose feeding tube was removed by court order Friday.

The attorney for Terri Schindler Schiavo's parents followed up the bill early Monday by filing a request in federal court in Florida for an emergency injunction to have Terri's feeding tube reinserted. A ruling is expected later today.

The Schindlers' attorney acted after Congress and Bush returned to Washington to pass and sign legislation allowing the federal courts to review Terri's case.

House Majority Leader Tom DeLay (R—Tex.) hailed its passage: "Tonight we have given Terri Schiavo all we could: a chance to live."  

"Today, we have witnessed the extraordinary will of Congress to ensure that Terri Schiavo's right to life — the first right set out in our founding document, the Declaration of Independence — is protected," said Focus on the Family chairman Dr. James C. Dobson.

"This bill represents a congressional act of mercy, and Americans can be proud of the representatives they sent to Washington, D.C., who have voted to save Terri's life,” he continued. He said his group particularly appreciated House Majority Leader Tom DeLay's “passion” for defending Terri.

Dobson said he hopes that the federal judge will "proceed with the care and caution due such an important test of our country's, and mankind's, most foundational right."

The Family Research Council also had praise for U.S. lawmakers.

"So often we see members of Congress portrayed as unfeeling and unconnected, but this case has brought good people on Capitol Hill to the forefront," Family Research Council president Tony Perkins said.

He also said the "facts are not on Michael Schiavo's side."

"The details prompting serious suspicion are endless and should be enough to grant the family who wants to care for their loved one the right to keep her alive with their hard work, sacrifice and compassion," said Perkins.

He discounted Terri’s husband’s claims that Terri, in an offhand comment years ago, said she would not want extraordinary care. "To be clear, food and water are not extraordinary care," Perkins said.

The removal of Terri’s feeding tube Friday drew criticism and concern from a number or pro-life and family groups. Two-time Emmy winner and star of Everyone Loves Raymond Patricia Heaton said Terri’s tube must be reinserted.

"We must not let Terri Schiavo be starved to death," said Heaton, who serves as honorary chair of Feminists for Life of America. "This deliberate and painful destruction of a woman's life cannot be justified or tolerated. Terri deserves better."

Heaton said she was outraged by Michael Schiavo’s actions, which have demonstrated that he “should not be the one making the ultimate life or death decisions” for Terri.

Feminists for Life opposes the killing of a disabled woman under a so-called "right" to die, said the statement. We believe there is no justification for the deliberate destruction of human life. 

The Christian Coalition of America had issued a statement Friday, urging the House and Senate leadership to pass the "Terri Schiavo Law" Monday. The coalition had applauded the actions by the Senate and House leadership to hold hearings and to issue subpoenas for Terri, Michael Schiavo, and her caregivers to appear before congressional committees this week.

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