Guests: Republican Congressman Tom Feeney and Democrat Congressman Gary Ackerman
"From the very beginning of this sad story, we have said that medical doctors should be the determining factor in what happens to Terri Schiavo. But now it's turned into a political circus, and many Americans have chosen sides along ideological lines. Some pro-life forces have made Terri's ordeal into a litmus test on compassion and life-affirming values. Some pro-choice people have demanded that the federal government stay out, and want a single state judge to decide life or death. Talking Points believes both sides are wrong. The key piece of evidence is provided by Florida doctors who examined Terri Schiavo and explained her condition to the court: "At this point much of her cerebral cortex is simply gone - unless an act of God, a true miracle, were to recreate her brain, Teresa will always remain in an unconscious, reflexive state." Enter Congress, which has passed a law affirming the family's right to federal protection. Predictably, the left-wing press is aghast. The Los Angeles Times blamed the whole thing on those "radical right-wingers." But a funny thing happened - every one of the liberal Senators failed to show up to block the law. All of them sat it out in a stunning display of partisan silence. In the end, the medical evidence is just too overwhelming to justify keeping her on life support at taxpayer expense. But I'm glad Congress stepped up and voted to give her and her family every benefit of the doubt. All life is worthy, and that should be a defining message for America."
Two Congressmen with widely divergent opinions on the Terri Schiavo controversy joined The Factor. Democrat Gary Ackerman of New York refused to vote on the emergency measure that moved the Schiavo case into the federal courts. "I didn't want to participate in that circus. I thought it was unconscionable for Congress to insert itself into this debate. We are particularly unqualified to make that decision and to intrude into the lives of this family. Republicans are pushing this issue because they think it's a political advantage." On the other side of the aisle, Florida Republican Tom Feeney voted for the bill. "All we are asking for is what every convicted felon, including the most heinous murderers on death row, have ? a right to appeal to a federal court. This is not Congress deciding on whether she lives or dies. But we believe Ms. Schiavo has the right to have a federal judge review the facts and decide if she has received due process."