The Rev. Jesse Jackson joined Terri Schiavos parents in the fight their daughters life Tuesday as the disabled woman struggled through her 12th day without food or water.
"I feel so passionate about this injustice being done, how unnecessary it is to deny her a feeding tube, water, not even ice to be used for her parched lips, said Rev. Jackson, the former Democratic presidential candidate, during a rally outside Schiavos hospice. "This is a moral issue and it transcends politics and family disputes."
According to the Associated Press, Jacksons visit provided an emotional boost to Schiavos parents, the Schindlers, who have faced dozens of setbacks in court throughout their years-long battle to keep Terri alive.
"I wanted the Reverend Jackson here for moral support," said Mary Schindler, Terri Schiavo's mother. "I feel good with him here. Very strong. He gives me strength."
Mary and Bob Schindler have been at odds with their son-in-law Michael over the fate of their daughter for nearly seven years. The crushing family feud culminated on March 18 with a judge ordered Terris feeding tube removed. Since then, lawmakers in Washington passed a bill that gave the Schiavo case a chance at federal courts, but judges refused to thoroughly review the case.
The parents no longer are fighting in the courts for Terri, but have turned to Governor Jeb Bush and lawmakers in Florida to pick up the fight and save Terri while they can.
"[Terri] still looks pretty darn good under the circumstances," said Bob Schindler on Tuesday. "You can see the impact of no food and water for 12 days. Her bodily functions are still working. We still have her."
According to CNN, Terri had stopped urinating since Sunday a sign that her organs are beginning to fail. While media are not allowed to enter or take pictures of the disabled woman, reports from those who have seen the starved and dehydrated Terri say her eyes are sunken and her skin is now flaky.
Doctors expect her to pass away by the weeks end.
Despite the negative outlook, the Schindlers said Terri is sill with us and that she is fighting to hold on to her life. They asked supporters to continue their help, and personally called on Rev. Jackson to take part in Terris fight.
Jackson meanwhile lobbied black legislators to bring back Terris law II a measure that would have forbidden doctors from removing food and water from incapacitated persons such as Terri.
According to AP, lawmakers already rejected the legislation earlier in the month and are unlikely to reconsider the last-ditch effort to bring back the bill
But Mary Schindler continued her plea.
Please, please pass this new bill, Schindler said. Terri is still fighting, she is still alive; shes trying with all her might. She does not want to die.