Ft. Worth, TX – Pro-life supporters gathered outside John Peter Smith Hospital yesterday afternoon to show support and pray for Marlise Munoz and her 20-week pre-born baby amid efforts by Munoz’s family to terminate life support to her and thereby end their lives.
A group of abortion supporters from NARAL Prochoice America also gathered nearby, demanding that the hospital withdraw life support and allow Marlise and her baby to die.
Marlise Munoz collapsed in her home last November from an apparent blood clot in her lungs when she was 14 weeks pregnant with her second child. Her husband and other family members have asked the John Peter Smith Hospital in Ft. Worth to remove Marlise from life support after they were told she was “brain dead.” Ending life support would also end her pre-born baby’s life.
So far John Peter Smith Hospital officials have refused to follow the family’s request, citing a Texas law that prohibits hospitals from removing life support from pregnant women.
While the pro-abortion group told reporters that they wanted Marlise to “rest in peace” after being determined to be “brain dead,” others aren’t convinced that Marlise is actually “dead” since her body continues to support her growing baby. There have been cases were patients found to be in similar situations have actually regained consciousness given appropriate care and treatment over time.
One pro-life supporter, Carole Novielli, who attended the vigil in support of Marlise and her baby had this to say about those who are demanding death, “What I find outrageous is that there is no written directive which spells out Marlise’s wishes. This woman has carried her child for 20 weeks, she obviously wanted this baby. Yet NARAL, who always claims to ‘protect women’ has decided to side with the woman’s husband in this case and to call for life support to be pulled. NARAL always sides with death and in this case it is the death of a woman and her child. When will the media call NARAL out on this hypocrisy? Regardless, Texas law clearly states that a pregnant woman must be kept alive in cases such as these.”
Sunday’s outreach was led by Pastor Stephen Broden of Fair Park Bible Fellowship and Founder of National Black Pro-Life Coalition. Pastor Broden stated, “We must save this baby. It is a person, guaranteed protection under the constitution. There is an alternative for the family. There are families willing to take the baby and provide a safe place for it to grow in a loving environment. If we err, we should err on the side of life.”
“We feel great compassion for the family of Marlise Munoz and her pre-born baby. No one ever wants to be in their difficult and tragic situation,” said Troy Newman, President of Operation Rescue. “Marlise wanted this baby, and as long as there is a chance that he or she can be saved, we support John Peter Smith Hospital in their bid to follow the law and protect this baby’s life.”
News reports indicate that the Munoz family is considering legal action to force the hospital to remove life support. That action could come as early as this week.
Read Novielli’s blog with additional photos from the event.