As the British High Court case regarding baby Charlie Gard drags on, U.S. leaders have rallied behind the critically ill child and his parents. Up until now, every court ruling has upheld the right of Great Ormond Street Hospital doctors to take Charlie off life support, against the will of the Gard family.
Recently, however, two U.S. congressmen proposed a potential solution that would reinstate Chris Gard and Connie Yates’ right to choose what’s best for their son, including seeking experimental medical treatments for Charlie in America.
On Friday, congressmen Trent Franks (R-A.Z.) and Brad Wenstrup (R-O.H.), introduced a bill that would grant 11-month-old Charlie, who suffers from a rare mitochondrial disease, American citizenship.
As the Daily Wire’s Amanda Prestigiacomo reports, Charlie’s parents have raised more than $1.6 million to pay for a potentially life-saving experimental treatment offered in the United States, but U.K. and European courts have forbade them from leaving the country.
“Our bill will support Charlie’s parents’ right to choose what is best for their son, by making Charlie a lawful permanent resident in the U.S. in order for him to receive treatments that could save his life,” the congressmen write.
“Every human life has dignity, including the lives of those who cannot speak up for themselves,” they continue. “When government is able to overrule a parent or guardian in determining a patient’s best interest, every vulnerable patient is put at risk. We offer Connie Yates and Chris Gard our heartfelt support as they seek to care for their son.”
The Daily Wire’s Prestigiacomo notes that the idea to grant Charlie citizenship was first proposed by Daily Wire Editor-in-Chief Ben Shapiro on July 3.
“Congress has the power under Article I, Section 8 of the Constitution to ‘establish an uniform Rule of Naturalization.’ This gives Congress plenary power over naturalization,” Shapiro wrote. “So, why can’t Congress pass a private bill sponsoring Charlie Gard and his parents as American citizens? That would then give us legal standing to challenge Charlie’s inability to travel to the United States at the behest of his parents.”
Earlier this month, President Donald Trump voiced his support for the Gard family, stating in a tweet that the United States would “be delighted” to help in any way possible.
If we can help little #CharlieGard, as per our friends in the U.K. and the Pope, we would be delighted to do so.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 3, 2017
Trump’s comments helped push Gard’s case into the national media conversation.
— Katty Kay (@KattyKayBBC) July 11, 2017
A few days after Trump’s tweet, pro-life leaders from around the country gathered in D.C. to declare, “We’re all Charlie Gard,” the Media Research Center’s Katie Yoder reported. At a press conference last Thursday, leaders from various pro-life organizations pleaded with the British government to reverse the “death sentence” placed on Charlie Gard by GOSH doctors.
“President Trump is showing us the leadership of a president and the kindness and strength of a loving father in the case of baby Charlie Gard,” Susan B. Anthony List’s Marjorie Dannenfelser declared at the start of the conference. Addressing her pro-life peers, she added, “We insist that the British government intervene.”
This week, the High Court reopened the case of Charlie Gard in light of “new evidence relating to potential treatment for [Charlie’s] condition.” Mr. Justice Francis presided over a hearing on Monday, which was attended by GOSH doctors and Charlie’s parents.
A day prior, Gard and Yates joined protesters outside Great Ormond Street, and delivered a petition signed by nearly 400,000 people who believe doctors should give Charlie a chance to seek treatment abroad before they withdraw the infant from life support. The petition was created by pro-life group, Americans United for Life.
— CitizenGO (@CitizenGO) July 10, 2017
Judge Francis concluded Monday that he would be open to reversing the Court’s previous decision if Charlie’s parents could present “new and powerful” evidence for why additional treatment could benefit Charlie. He gave them until Thursday to do so.