Communications Department

Callous in Cleveland: Obama debate comments on Schiavo send dangerous message to disabled community

Feb 27, 2008 | 2008 Press Releases

WASHINGTON – During last night’s Democratic presidential debate in Cleveland, Senator Barack Obama called his vote allowing the parents of Terri Schindler Schiavo access to the federal courts in the fight to save their daughter’s life “a mistake.”  He further called his “inaction” in not stopping the bill “costly.”

In response the following statement may be attributed to David N. O’Steen, Ph.D, National Right to Life executive director: 

Senator Obama’s remarks show a callous disregard for persons with disabilities who are being denied the full protection of the law. Calling his actions ‘costly’ further adds insult to injury.   

His comments demonstrate a worrisome trend with regard to treating persons with disabilities.  By applying a “quality of life” test, disabled patients across the country are in danger of being denied life-saving care and food and water.  There is an assumption being adopted that if a patient is disabled and unable to speak for themselves, they would be “better off dead.” 

People with serious illnesses and persons with disabilities should be fearful of Barack Obama ever being in a position to make health care policy for our nation.

The National Right to Life Committee is the nation’s largest pro-life group with affiliates in all 50 states and over 3,000 local chapters nationwide.  National Right to Life works through legislation and education to protect those threatened by abortion, infanticide, euthanasia and assisted suicide.