Linda Evans Shepherd Confronts Michael Schiavo

Michael Schiavo, the back of Linda's head, and Angie Paccione

To see Denver 9 News Clip, click HERE.

Rocky Mountian News,2777,DRMN_23966_4851124,00.html

Letters to the Editor, July 18
July 18, 2006

Schiavo a poor choice for political campaign

I attended the Michael Schiavo/Angie Paccione press conference and listened as Schiavo ranted about how his privacy was violated by our government ("Schiavo blasts Musgrave/Activist supports congresswoman's Democratic rival," July 13). He said he was Terri's family and the government had interfered with his family, his privacy and his wishes. When he finished his tirade, with congressional candidate Paccione by his side, I raised my hand and said, "I'm the mother of a handicapped child. What about Terri's mother and father - weren't they her family too?"

Schiavo turned his full attention on me and with angry passion told me Terri's parents had lost their rights to her when she married him. (In other words, she was his property to be disposed of.)

After the press conference, I was interviewed by 9News. I was able to express deep sympathy for Terri's family and I was able to relate that other disabled people with brain damage are now afraid for their lives. (After all, Terri Schiavo was not dying until they quit feeding her.)

9News ran the piece at 4 p.m., with my comments. Later, I received an e-mail, most likely from the Paccione camp, telling me "I was ridiculous."

But I am not ridiculous. I am a real mother of a brain-damaged young adult daughter who is also a real person. I am a voice for those who have no voice. I have real worries about what will happen to the disabled when, like Michael Schiavo, society deems they are no longer convenient.

Yes, as Schiavo says, Terri is at peace. But her passing was violent and premature. It was cruel. I grieve for Terri's family and I also grieve for any politician who would use Michael Schiavo as her spokesperson.

Linda Evans Shepherd

Linda Evans Shepherd is the publisher of Right to the Heart of Women e-zine, a publisher at Jubilant Press, and the author of numerous books. She can be contacted for comments or speaking engagements at

Not only is Laura Shepherd 20 years old, she is disabled, beautiful and a registered voter.

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