Pinellas Park, Fla. As Terri Schiavo entered her 12th full day without food or water, the Rev. Jesse Jackson prayed with her parents Tuesday and joined conservatives in calling for state lawmakers to order her feeding tube reinserted.
The former Democratic presidential candidate was invited by Schiavo's parents to meet with activists outside Schiavo's hospice. His arrival was greeted by some applause and cries of "This is about civil rights!"
"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," he said. "This is a moral issue and it transcends politics and family disputes."
Jackson's visit provided an emotional boost to Schiavo's parents and siblings, who have maintained that Schiavo would want to be kept alive. Her husband, Michael Schiavo, insists he is carrying out her wishes by having the feeding tube pulled.
Jackson said his request to visit Terri was denied.
Mary Schindler, Terri Schiavo's mother, later made a terse but emotional appeal to Michael Schiavo: "Michael and Jodi, you have your own children. Please, please give my child back to me." Michael Schiavo and fiancee Jodi Centonze have two children, born long after Terri Schiavo's collapse.
A federal appeals court early today agreed to consider a petition by the Schindlers for a new hearing on whether to reconnect their severely brain-damaged daughter's feeding tube.
The ruling by the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals came on Schiavo's 12th day without nourishment. The Schindlers had argued that the District Court "committed plain error when it reviewed only the state court case and outcome history."
Now, the court is considering the request for a new trial rather than whether the state court rulings have met legal standards under Florida law, which is what federal courts have done in the case up to now.
Federal courts were given jurisdiction to review Schiavo's case after Republicans in Congress pushed through unprecedented emergency legislation over the weekend aimed at prolonging Schiavo's life. But federal courts at two levels rebuffed the family.