House Passes Schiavo Legislation

A reluctant Senate is moving much more slowly and will likely push Friday’s 1 p.m. deadline for the removal of her feeding tube.

As the hour for the removal of Terri Schiavo's feeding tube draws ever nearer, Florida lawmakers are doing their best to intervene.

Rep. Gus Barreiro, (R) Miami, says, “This one woman who is lying in bed and can not make a decision for herself is looking at us to make that decision.”

Rep. Aaron Bean, (R) Fernandina Beach, adds, “Being in the killing the innocent person business is not a business I think our state needs to be in."

The usually boisterous House members were riveted to their seats. Opponents cried big government.

Rep. Shelly Vana, (D) Volusia County, says, “It has been a rush to judgment all week.”

Rep. Joyce Cusack, (D) Broward County, adds, “And it invades the privacy and sanctity of marriage and family."

But despite the opposition, opponents could not stop the avalanche. A tentative Senate joined the debate after lunch.

Sen. Dan Webster, (R) Orlando, says, “This deserves justice, and justice is that we tilt just a little bit toward life."

But the Senate got bogged down in the details of the bill and quit without taking action after two hours of debate. Still, Gov. Jeb Bush, who began his day at a prayer service, is optimistic.

“It will be the law of the land. I don’t know if it will be done by one o’clock, though,” he said.

No matter what the final version of the legislation says, a final decision will likely be made in the courts. The Department of Children and Families has filed an emergency appeal at the Florida Supreme Court, saying it has a legal obligation to investigate allegations of abuse and neglect at the hands of husband Michael Schiavo.