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Schiavo and Senate Bill 25

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At press time, the federal courts are denying Terry Schiavo her right to receive food and hydration, allowing her to starve to death. Those decisions are being made following the laws of our land. Meanwhile, the Massachusetts Legislature is planning to pass swiftly Senate Bill 25, a measure that would promote the destruction of human embryos and allow cloning, all for the sake of experimentation.

The 20th century was a time of great advances in social justice causes: rights of workers, minimum wage, racial discrimination, equal rights for women, child labor, and many more. These were all fights our society fought and, to a certain extent, won. More remains to be done, but it is unquestionable that much has been achieved.

The 21st century brings with it a new challenge. The new battleground in the fight for social justice is the defense of the Gospel of life and the family as the basic building block of society. Catholics, who were proudly at the forefront of last century’s struggles for social justice also need to be on the frontlines of these new ones.

Life is sacred from the moment of conception to the moment of natural death. The Massachusetts legislature is about to pass a law that will destroy newly formed lives. At the same time, federal judges are slowly eroding Terry Schiavo’s chances for survival, based on the legal principle that food and water are optional for people in a so-called “vegetative state.”

Time and again, Catholics continue to vote for the same politicians who show, for the most part, no concern for the defense of life and family. As an example, among Massachusetts’ Congressional delegation, only Rep. Stephen Lynch voted in favor of the bill that gave the federal courts jurisdiction in the Schiavo case.

And, what about the Massachusetts Legislature? Those familiar with the Statehouse are predicting a landslide vote in favor of Senate Bill 25. They hope that pro-life legislators will have enough votes to prevent an override of Governor Romney’s expected veto. Yet, even that is still in doubt.

Laws have to change, but they won’t unless legislators understand that society rejects laws contrary to human dignity. There is not much the average person can do for Terry Schiavo at this point, other than pray for her and her family. In Massachusetts though, the possibility of changing the votes of our legislators on Senate Bill 25 is very much alive, but if you do not act now, it will be too late.

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