On Friday night in Philadelphia, former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin keynoted an event designed to honor Terri Schiavo and defend life, delivering a heartfelt speech at the Terri Schiavo Life & Hope Network’s Award Gala in front of a packed ballroom of supporters in which she declared that nothing was more “important than defending the right to life.”
“Her plight, her journey, taught Americans who we are and what we can be,” Palin said, speaking about Schiavo. “Her story is certainly not over.”
Palin referred to Schiavo as a beautiful young woman with an unquenchable spirit. She assured the crowd that Terri continues to teach with a spirit that is alive.
The former Republican vice presidential nominee has been on the front lines defending the unborn as well as those in a persistent vegetative state. Terri Schiavo’s case captured the nation’s attention in 2005 when, despite the best efforts of her family, she was allowed to starve to death. Palin contended Terri did not die in vain.
“The fight is not over,” Palin said. “Terri is still teaching us. We’re gaining momentum. Terri’s making a difference.”
Palin said Shciavo “led the way with her determination and declaration that she wanted to live.”
When it comes to personal experience with life issues, Palin has more clout than most; fittingly, she discussed them at the Schiavo event. Palin recalled her pregnancy in 2008 and how she kept it out of the public eye until she was seven months along, even though she was in the daily spotlight as governor. She said in Alaska it is easier to hide a pregnancy than in most states because one can always add layers. She said people, though, eventually started wondering if she was getting “chunky.”
Palin had just become the youngest governor in state history and the first woman to serve in the high office. The last thing she needed was the good old boys pointing the finger at her for getting pregnant. Finally, she let the press and America know she was in fact expecting. She had been thrown a “curveball.”
Palin pointed out that she was no spring chicken at the time, and she prayed about her new addition. She joked that even though her name is Sarah, her husband’s name is not Abraham.
Once doctors determined the new Palin baby would have Down Syndrome, they were overcome with a slew of feelings and emotions. And while many in this country immediately suggest abortion in cases like this, Todd and Sarah Palin chose life. A new baby boy was born. “Trig melted into my arms,” Palin said. “What a blessing he is.”
“I can’t imagine life without Trig,” Palin continued. “He is our life. He is our world.”
The family soon had another curveball thrown at them when eldest daughter Bristol, a teen at the time, announced she was pregnant. Bristol also chose life; the “right decision”, as Governor Palin put it Friday night. Shortly after Bristol’s big news, Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) asked Governor Palin to be his running mate on the national Republican ticket. Palin fondly remembered thinking, “Why not?!”
While choosing to keep a special needs child is not the same situation as what Terri Schiavo’s family went through, Palin can certainly relate to the faith, hope, and love displayed by Schiavo’s family, the Schindlers. Palin let them know their Terri still matters. “All the Terris of the world are worth it,” Palin said.
Perhaps the most poignant part of the speech was Palin’s questioning of just who gets to determine so-called “quality of life.” She pointed out that the answer is certainly not some D.C. bureaucrat.
Palin drew laughs when she spoke of her bumper sticker that reads, “My kid has more chromosomes than your kid.” She panned Dr. Ezekiel Emanuel, ripped ObamaCare, and talked about how she brought death panels to light. The idea was originally scoffed at by many. Now, even some liberals have to admit this glaring truth.
Loud roars of approval were thrown Palin’s way throughout her detailed remarks, including when she encouraged Americans from “Florida to Alaska to Philadelphia; from your house to The White House” to stand up for life.
“We’re God’s,” Palin said with conviction. “We have worth that’s immeasurable.”
As she customarily does, Palin asked military members and vets in the audience to stand to be recognized. But on this special night, she also called on others to be noticed. Along with our brave men and women in uniform, Governor Palin paid tribute to doctors, clergy members, and the Schindlers, Terri Schiavo’s tireless, loving family. Palin also thanked the Catholic school girls who were on hand to volunteer at the gala.
“The family is the cornerstone of our society,” Palin said. “From the tiniest baby in the womb to the most powerful man in the world, we are equal.”
These comments were met with roars of approval, as Palin fervently declared the importance of defending life in order to make America a greater place.
“One man’s pursuit of happiness must not take away another’s right to life,” Palin said. “There are the world’s standards of perfection and there are God’s standards — and that’s the one matters.”