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Enough Is Enough | An Commentary

By Valerie Schmalz | March 22, 2005

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As the case of Terri Schiavo winds its way through the court system–again–her mother is barred from placing a sliver of ice on her tongue to relieve her parched mouth. A 41-year-old disabled Florida woman is dying of thirst and we stand by helpless.

It is Holy Week, and as we live again Jesus’ Passion and Death, a woman is being crucified by the sins of a country that can’t seem to save her because the rule of law and of other interests are, for now, more powerful than the forces of goodness and of life. Her mother and father are helpless, her brother and sister are helpless, all suffering as Mary suffered at the foot of the Cross.

This is a terrible moment for our country and as the time runs out–and as we all pray that somehow some judge will find a way to save Terri–we must pray that she will be saved because what her death would mean for our country is too awful to contemplate.

We can argue points of law and of what was said or not said, but Terri is being killed.

No matter how this situation turns out, it should energize all those who believe that the Senate filibuster is a necessary tool for the minority. I have always believed the filibuster is an important tool for whoever is out of power, a tool to keep the majorirom riding roughshod over the outnumbered opinion and group of the moment.

But years of appointments by anti-life executives in state capitols and in Washington, D.C., means that we now have some terrible judges. Of course, we will always have good judge and bad judges. But even though a majority of Americans voted for a government that would affirm life, a core of hardened abortion activists and disciples of the Culture of Death can block anyone who disagrees with their agenda.

I have never believed that judges have too much power. I believe in the balance of power and that things work out in a democracy but it is messy and takes time. But Terri is running out of time and our democracy is failing her–even though a Congress and the President have rallied to try to save her. How can that be?

I am now a vote for ending the supermajority that is needed to close off debate and require a vote in the U.S. Senate. The House of Representatives has functioned very well for years without it and does a better job representing the will of the country. I urge Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist and the Republican leadership to revise the rules of the Senate.

Enough is enough.

Related Links:
Republicans, Family Fight for Terri's Life; Supreme Court Denies Committee's Request | By Valerie Schmalz. March 19, 2005.
Terri's Murder Begins | By Valerie Schmalz. March 18, 2005.
Congress Delays Murder of Terri Schiavo | By Valerie Schmalz. March 18, 2005.
Vatican, Gibson Join Fight for Terri's Life | Valerie Schmalz. March 15, 2005.
The Vatican Steps In: Cardinal Martino's Statement on Terri Schiavo | Valerie Schmalz. March 8, 2005.
• John Paul II on "Life-Sustaining Treatments and Vegetative State: Scientific Advances and Ethical Dilemmas"
The Case of Terri Schiavo: When Does Dignity End? | By Fr. Michael Black
The Battle Over Terri | Valerie Schmalz
DCF's Schiavo Petition Unsealed | The Tampa Tribune (Friday, March 4, 2005)
Terri's Brother Fights For Sister's Life | by Margaret Zagroba | Vice President, Princeton Pro-Life. Saturday, March 5, 2005.

Valerie Schmalz is a writer for IgnatiusInsight. She worked as a reporter and editor for The Associated Press, and in print and broadcast media for ten years. She holds a BA in Government from University of San Francisco and a Master of Science from the School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University. She is the former director of Birthright of San Francisco. Valerie and her wonderful husband have four children.

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