In an extraordinary congressional action last Sunday, an emergency injunction was established to re-insert Terry Schiavo’s feeding tube. Yesterday, in a marathon session, both Houses of Congress convened, eventually hammering out a solution that seemed to please both parties.
“Let’s just cut her in half!” shouted Sen. Hal Sanctumfy, Republican from Florida, at one point in the proceedings.
His outburst interrupted a speech being given by Sen. Dave Sinistra (D-New Hampshire) who paused, thought for a moment, then responded, “Yes, cut her in half!”
The shout was soon taken up throughout the Senate.
News spread to the House of Representatives that an innovative approach was being debated. The two houses conjoined and a historic process was in place. By 3 a.m. this morning the following plan was in place.
• Cut Terry Schiavo in half
• Keep Half A alive by any means possible
• Allow Half B to expire by removing all life support
“We woulda had it all figured out by midnight,” Sanctumfy told reporters, “except for a couple of key issues: How to separate her into parts and which part is going to whom.”
As to the first, senators and representatives eventually agreed upon a time-worn tactic. They chose the “Ben-Hur approach,” with a modern twist: perforating Schiavo’s midriff so that horses could pull Schiavo apart in, as one senator who declined to be identified put it, “the old school way.”
The proceedings at this point threatened to derail over the question of where to divide the body, but Democrats conceded that the Republicans should have 51 percent to their 49 percent.
The final issue was, of course, who got what part. Republicans opted, after much debate, for the bottom half of Schiavo. As one congressman put it, “We wanted not just life to persist, but the possibility for more life to be created. Thus what remains of Schiavo is potentially a vessel for impregnation, gestation and, of course, that most glorious act of birth.”
George W. Bush is expected to act immediately by signing this new legislation.