It is remarkable that in a Catholic family of 8 children, Eunice Kennedy Shriver was the rare pro-lifer. But she was. And the 88-year-old passed away today. One prominent pro-life organization of which she was a member eulogized her in a press release:
Former Susan B. Anthony List Advisory Committee Member Eunice Kennedy Shriver died today at the age of 88 at Cape Cod Hospital in Hyannis, MA, surrounded by her family. Eunice Kennedy Shriver was a sister of President John F. Kennedy and Sen. Edward M. Kennedy, and mother of Maria Shriver, the first lady of CA. She founded the Special Olympics in 1968....
"No one more than Eunice Kennedy Shriver understood better the power held by the most vulnerable in our society," said Susan B. Anthony List President Marjorie Dannenfelser. "She fought for those hidden in the shadows of life, while acknowledging that they teach us far more than we could ever offer them. She was consistent in her championing of every vulnerable human life."
On July 14, 1992, Eunice and Sargent Shriver joined PA Gov. Bob Casey (D-PA) and many other influential pro-life leaders in signing a full-page ad in the New York Times protesting the Democratic Party's embrace of the abortion-rights agenda. The ad, titled The New American Compact, called for support of policies that embrace both mother and child. The ad concluded with the following statement:
We can choose to reaffirm our respect for human life. We can choose to extend once again the mantle of protection to all members of the human family, including the unborn. We can choose to provide effective care of mothers and children.
And if we make those choices, America will experience a new birth of freedom, bringing with it a renewed spirit of community, compassion, and caring....
Eunice Kennedy Shriver was an early supporter of the Susan B. Anthony List and its mission to advance, mobilize and represent pro-life women in the political process. She and her husband, Sargent Shriver, also lent their time and talents to the efforts and activities of Democrats for Life of America and Feminists for Life.
Following is WISH-TV coverage of Shriver's involvement in the Special Olympics:
May she rest in peace.Posted by: Kel at August 11, 2009 3:11 PM
As a Catholic of Irish American ancestry, the example of Eunice Kennedy Shriver is an inspiration one can only hope more will follow!
Under the mercy,
Dave DowdPosted by: Dave Dowd at August 11, 2009 3:31 PM
I did not know any of this. Thank you for sharing. May light perpetual shine upon her.Posted by: Rosemary A. at August 11, 2009 3:40 PM
I knew of her connection to the Peace Corps, but not that she was prolife. At least one of the Kennedy clan had a conscience.Posted by: Doyle Chadwick at August 11, 2009 4:26 PM
What an extraordinary woman...
Lots of good wishes to her family. A woman as remarkable as her must have been more beloved than any of us could ever imagine by her children. I hope that they're okay.Posted by: Vannah at August 11, 2009 4:39 PM
What a remarkable woman...no wonder her daughter Maria is so outstanding!Posted by: Mylene at August 11, 2009 4:48 PM
Respect for life. REAL respect for life. You see the consistency, too. Special Olympics as well as the pro-life campaign.
Rest in peace, Eunice Kennedy Shriver. You will be missed.Posted by: MaryRose at August 11, 2009 6:58 PM
...which is why THIS Kennedy was blessed with a LONG life.Posted by: Marie at August 11, 2009 7:47 PM
RIP, Mrs. Shriver. You were and still are an inspiration to all of us. You and your husband are both pro life as are my wife and I.Posted by: Andy at August 11, 2009 7:53 PM
Eunice Shriver was the rare Catholic Democrat who remained true both to the principles of her faith and to the principles upon which our once-great party was founded. God rest her soul.Posted by: Mickey Jackson at August 11, 2009 11:55 PM
Truly an incredible woman; may she rest in peace.
Special Olympics is a wonderful organization. It is so sad that the organization is silent on the 90% abortion rate of babies diagnosed prenatally with Down syndrome.....who could have been Special Olympic athletes if their lives had been respected. I think the organization would be a credible voice if they would encourage pregnant mothers to keep their babies with DS.Posted by: Eileen at August 12, 2009 12:25 PM
Eileen, "I think the organization would be a credible voice if they would encourage pregnant mothers to keep their babies with DS."
AMEN!Posted by: MaryRose at August 12, 2009 7:56 PM