Washington Confidential

Pro-Life Leaders Blast Carson For Belittling Terry Schiavo

Evan Gahr Investigative Journalist
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Spunky pro-life activists essentially called Ben Carson a haughty ignoramus Tuesday for saying the multi-pronged Republican effort to keep Terry Schiavo alive against her husband’s wishes were “much ado about nothing.”

Pro-Life Action League executive director Eric Scheidler told this reporter that Carson “sounded like an arrogant know it all doctor scolding his inferiors. What troubles me is he is deeply uninformed about Schiavo. He is just woefully ignorant of her situation.”

But other, more established abortion opponents and even Jeb Bush — who as Florida governor tried to save Schiavo’s life — are, for some strange reason, giving Carson a free pass.

Gee, what could it possibly be?

Carson, who thinks the Third Reich started out “innocently” and that 9/11 was merely an “isolated” event, also seemed equally clueless about the unsuccessful effort by Bush and Congressional Republicans to prevent Schiavo’s husband from having her feeding tube removed.

Asked about the controversy at an Orlando campaign stop Friday the good doctor seemed to think that Schiavo, who was medically stable but in a vegetative state, was terminally ill.

“We face those kinds of issues all the time and while I don’t believe in euthanasia, you have to recognize that people that are in that condition do have a series of medical problems that occur that will take them out,” he told the Tampa Bay Times. “Your job [as a doctor] is to keep them comfortable throughout that process and not to treat everything that comes up.”

Carson said the 2005 congressional legislation that allowed Schiavo’s parents to argue in federal court against the feeding tube removal was unnecessary. “I don’t think it needed to get to that level. I think it was much ado about nothing.”

Children First Foundation president Elizabeth Rex — who waged a spirited, but ultimately unsuccessful effort to force New York State to issue Choose Life license plates — urged Carson to get his facts straight.

“I sincerely hope Dr. Carson will fully inform himself and humbly apologize to the Schiavo Family and to the countless other American families who are struggling to take care of their sick, elderly and handicapped loved ones until their natural death. Food and water is ordinary care and should never be deliberately denied to anyone.”

Interestingly, a spokesman for Jeb Bush, who tried to take temporary custody of Schiavo to thwart her husband, refused to criticize Carson for essentially dissing her man.

Instead, she gave a rather generic statement to the Washington Post that Bush “has always advocated for a culture of preserving life. For him, being pro-life is not just about preventing deaths of the most vulnerable, but also about promoting human dignity and helping people preserve life. Governor Bush engaged on the issue and advocated for Terri Schiavo because he believes that when in doubt, it is important to err on the side of life.”

But Scheidler of the Chicago-based Pro-Life Action League is amazed that Carson had erred on the side of the facts.

“He is just woefully ignorant of Terry Schiavo’s situation. She was not terminally ill. She was not at death’s door. They were not giving her palliative care. [This] shows he is deeply out of touch with the pro-life movement.”

Scheidler is a rabble rouser who just held a boisterous demonstration outside of a Planned Parenthood conference in Chicago this week.

But the more mainstream Americans United for Life ignored repeated requests for comment.

Veteran cultural warrior and former GOP presidential candidate Gary Bauer also pulled a deaf mute routine in the face of multiple inquiries. And Southern Baptist Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission president Russell Moore, who savages Donald Trump for taking positions at odds with evangelical values, declined Tuesday to criticize Trump for doing the same.

Talk about the death of outrage.