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The Northerner

Lack of support setting poor example

John Foley

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The last week has been dominated with news about Terri Schindler. I used her previous name because she is an individual and not the property of her executioner. The courts have given her husband custody of her; her desires or opinions are irrelevant.

The court has ruled that she is a chattel personal. The more you read the court documents and ignore the rhetoric, the more tragic this case becomes. My daughter asked me why they wanted to kill this woman. My daughter is still young enough to see the good in everyone and has not developed the cynicism inherit in life. I did not have an answer for her.

It’s hard for my wife to watch or hear the latest news on this case without picturing our daughter. I reassure her that our daughter will never be the property of any man. She will be independent and will make her own decisions. But what if I’m wrong?

This is not about a right to die issue. Few people would deny Terri the right to be disconnected from life support. If that was her decision people would respect it. However she is not on life support. There is no machine to turn off and allow her to fall asleep. This is not about politics; before voting season new issues will arise and this tragic case will be forgotten. Americans have a short memory. The economy, defense and other standard issues will take their place in voting decisions.

This is not about religion. People from all religions support a person’s right to be disconnected from life support or a person’s desire to maintain a particular quality of life. This is about a human being who has the right to decide their own fate. I believe the individual has the right to decide his or her own fate and that no other person has ownership of that person. Yes, a person can be a guardian, but that gives them only the power to protect them, not impose their own beliefs on them. This is about facts, not rumors. The facts in this case are more disturbing than the rumors.

The part of this story that disturbs me the most is that the people who should protect her are silent. The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) fights for convicted rapists and murderers to prevent their executions, and they somehow support Terri, an innocent woman, being executed in a horrific manner. National Organization of Women (NOW), where are you? How can you allow a woman to be owned by a man? To have exclusive rights over her without regard to her opinion? My daughter will never be owned by anybody. This is not to imply that she will never be married; her mother and I hope that she finds the same happiness that we found. It simply means that a man will never be allowed to make her decisions.

We teach our daughter independence to think for herself and make her own decisions. We will teach her to suspect an organization that professes to represent women but does nothing to support or empower them. Terri is not being allowed to communicate her desire and needs the support of everyone.

Hollywood where are you? During the political debate you throw in your unqualified opinion and use your celebrity status to influence voters. Is your time too important to help a defenseless woman who is being manipulated by another person?

Hillary Clinton where are you? You would like to run for president. Do you expect only controlling men and subservient women to vote for you? Are you so afraid of political correctness that you refuse to care that women rights are being violated?

The President and congress intervened to help her and yet the runaway courts are beyond control. The checks and balances are gone and law is being created from the bench. The governor of the state of Florida tried to intervene and the court blocked him.

The precedent that is being set is disturbing. You will begin to read about women having heart attacks or drowning and the husband, using this precedent of ownership, will not have them revived and will have them cremated to avoid an autopsy. All evidence of the crime will be eliminated. Divorce will cease to be a viable option; legalized murder will become the rage.

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The Independent Student Newspaper of Northern Kentucky University.
Lack of support setting poor example