Last Updated: Friday - 09/24/2010
Week of May 22, 2006
Every human has the right to life, say speakers
Fr. Frank Pavone
By DEBORAH GYAPONG
Canadian Catholic News
When Father Frank Pavone sat by Terri Schiavo in the hours before she died, he noticed the flowers in a vase by her bedside.
The flowers were vibrant and alive, nourished by the water in the vase, while Schiavo was dying of thirst and hunger because a judge had ordered the removal of her feeding tube.
Pavone asked himself, "How did we get here?"
"Armed police officers were standing there to make sure we did not dip our hands into that water and put it on her tongue," he told more than 900 people at the annual Rose Dinner, an event following the National March for Life May 11.
Priests for Life
Pavone, founder and national director of Priests for Life USA, said Schiavo was not terminally ill, she was not on life support, and she was not in a persistent vegetative state. He described her as responsive when people kissed her. She closed her eyes when they prayed together.
Schiavo's husband Michael won the fight to have the feeding tube removed. Schiavo died March 31, 2005, two weeks after her feeding tube was removed.
"She would not have been killed if millions of unborn babies had not been killed," Pavone said.
Belief in God is inconsistent with dismembering human children in the womb, he said. Doing so requires the dehumanization of the child. "When we dehumanize a victim, we dehumanize ourselves."
The pro-abortion side no longer claims the unborn child is not human, because to do so in the face of technology that shows the human baby in the womb is "tantamount to claiming the world is flat," he said.
"Instead they say who owns the child - it's got to be the mother," he said.
He pointed out the mother could not kill her child unless government permits it. "I say our rights come from God and the government exists to protect those rights and has no power to tamper with them," he said.
The law says . . .
The other side argues that human rights come from the government and the government has the right to grant or withhold them, he said.
Pavone's remarks echoed those made at the March for Life by former Liberal MP Pat O'Brien, who has been a leader in the fight to protect traditional marriage.
O'Brien told the nearly 6,000 people gathered on Parliament Hill earlier in the day that all the issues are linked.
There is no more important issue than abortion, he said, because disrespect for life is reflected in disrespect for marriage, and for disrespect of life at the end of life.
O'Brien is this year's recipient of the Joseph L. Borowski Award presented by the Campaign Life Coalition each year to honour people who have shown leadership in defending the right to life.
Borowski went to jail for the unborn and spent 80 days on a hunger strike that ended only after the intervention of Pope John Paul II.