Obama Calls Vote to Help Terri Schiavo Biggest Mistake
'Whether it's abortion or end-of-life issues, he's been consistently anti-life.'
During the 20th Democratic presidential debate Tuesday, U.S. Sen. Barack Obama said the one vote he would take back was his 2005 U.S. Senate vote to help save the life of Terri Schiavo, a brain-injured Florida woman.
"We adjourned with a unanimous agreement that eventually allowed Congress to interject itself into that decision-making process of the families," Obama said. "It wasn't something I was comfortable with, but it was not something that I stood on the floor and stopped. And I think that was a mistake."
Schiavo was not dying nor terminally ill; she was not brain-dead nor in a coma. Yet for seven years, her husband, Michael, sought to have her feeding tube removed. Congress intervened toward the end, but it was not enough. Schiavo died March 31, 2005, after 13 days of court-ordered dehydration and starvation.
Jill Stanek, a pro-life speaker and blogger, called Obama "utterly pro-death."
"He lives in 'opposite world,' where he is an environmentalist, to the extreme, and very pro-animal," she said. "But when it comes to the sanctity of human life, he takes every stand against it, up to, and including, babies who have been aborted alive.
"His priorities are completely unintelligible."
When asked Tuesday which vote she would take back, Sen. Hillary Clinton, D-N.Y., said she would not vote for the Iraq war again.
Tuesday wasn't the first time Obama talked about his "mistake."
During an April 2007 debate, he said: "I think professionally the biggest mistake that I made was when I first arrived in the Senate. There was a debate about Terri Schiavo, and a lot of us, including me, left the Senate with a bill that allowed Congress to intrude where it shouldn't have.”
Bruce Hausknecht, judicial analyst for Focus on the Family Action, said Obama has been disingenuous.
"How can Obama reconcile his cavalier dismissal of Terri Schiavo's predicament as a 'family matter,' when he has stated he wants to appoint judges who are 'going to protect people who may be vulnerable in the political process, the outsider, the minority, those who are vulnerable, those who don't have a lot of clout'?
"Whether it's abortion or end-of-life issues," Hausknecht said, "he's been consistently anti-life."
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