Monday, February 04, 2013

Mike Schwartz, Coburn chief of staff, dies

Pro-Life Champion Mike Schwartz Passes
by Steven Ertelt | Washington, DC |

Mike Schwartz, a pro-life champion who was a behind-the-scenes strategist for pro-life efforts on Capital Hill and the Chief of Staff to Oklahoma Sen. Tom Coburn, passed away over the weekend.

Schwartz lost his struggle with ALS (Lou Gehrig’s disease) and was highly regarded by pro-life leaders and activists as a major player on the national pro-life scence, developing strategy early on to take on the Planned Parenthood abortion business.

“The objective of the pro-life movement is (as it has been from the beginning) to gain legal protection for the right to life of every human being,” he said. “The means for pursuing these goals fall into three broad categories: prayer, service, and a reframing of the issue through legislative initiatives that pit the well-being of women against the profits of abortionists.”

He had just received the National Pro-Life Religious Council’s Pro-Life Recognition Award at the National Memorial for the Preborn and Their Mothers and Fathers on January 25.

Schwartz also worked at the Free Congress Foundation in the 1980s and early 1990s before he went to work for Coburn in the House of Representatives.

“We who knew Mike have been truly blessed over the years to have him be a part of our lives and he will be sadly missed,” said pro-lifer Robert Thompson of the Free Congress Foundation.

The group Faith & Law sent LifeNews an announcement of his passing.

“It is with sadness that we inform you that Michael Schwartz went home to be with the Lord.  After a year-and-a-half battle with ALS (Lou Gehrig’s disease), Mike finished his race today,” it said.

“Mike, Chief of Staff to Senator Tom Coburn, was a devout Catholic who loved the Lord deeply.  He was active teaching adult catechism in his home parish,” the group added. “Mike fought valiantly for the unborn from the advent of legalized abortion in America.  He was an avid reader of the most rigorous books and essays, reading a book or two each week.  He relished discussions about God, the Supreme Court, and politics.  He was a friend of the high and mighty and the lowly and powerless alike.  He was a loving husband, father, and grandfather.”

“Michael was a great friend to Faith & Law and an active member of the Sr. Congressional Staff Reading Group.  We will miss him sorely, but we rejoice in the hope that he will be forever with the Lord, and we will see him again,” it added.

Senator Coburn delivered a moving tribute to Mike on the Senate Floor late last year.

(National Review Online and Roll Call have also written about Mike's passing.)


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