The Charlie Gard case: A heart-breaking reminder of the repercussions of legalised abortion
The heart-breaking battle to keep little Charlie Gard, the nearly 11-month-old UK baby boy on life support, continues this week. In a move nothing short of profoundly unjust and inhumane, Charlie was supposed to have his life support turned off on Friday after his parents lost their legal bid to keep him on life support. It later emerged that in another devastating blow, the hospital had refused to let his parents, Chris Gard and Connie Yates, take him home to spend his last hours with them in the comfort and security of their family home.
Unprecedented support for terminally ill Charlie, who suffers from the extremely rare mitochondrial depletion syndrome, has been spilling in from across the world since European courts ruled that the hospital, not the parents, should be able to decide to remove him from life support. Earlier this week, the president of the Vatican-owned Bambino Gesù Hospital in Rome, Mariella Enoc, said her hospital was reaching out to Britain’s Great Ormond Street Hospital to ask them if Bambino Gesù could take Charlie into their care. Their pleas have been rejected by the UK and devastatingly, little Charlie is scheduled to die at Great Ormond Street Hospital against his own parents' wishes.
Little Charlie is still alive for the time being. Over the weekend, UK media reported that the hospital had granted Charlie's parents more time with him. The case is a stunningly unethical one which has shocked not only the UK but has sent ripples across the world. After all, his parents have raised over $1 million to bring Charlie to the U.S. for experimental treatment in an attempt to save his life. Despite their wishes for their only child, and having the funds for the treatment, the courts have denied Charlie be given the treatment. Their reasoning behind this? They argue that it would be “inhumane” for Charlie to travel to the US, adopting the laissez-faire attitude that stands firmly against a pro-life ethic, ‘this child is not going to survive anyway, and so what is the point?’
The major problem here is glaring us all in the face; life is not disposable – it is worth fighting for. It is truly an attitude of blatant arrogance to assert that the state can guarantee for a fact that this child will not survive. The state has absolutely no proof that Charlie Gard will die regardless. If given the experimental treatment that Charlie’s parents, along with millions across the globe are advocating for, there is not one shred of evidence in existence to say that Charlie will not recover, despite how unlikely such an outcome may seem.
Although the professional medics and law-makers are undeniably smart and accomplished, their arrogance here has a cost. They are trained doctors and law makers, they are not fortune tellers, and they cannot see into the future. The recommendation to effectively terminate this little boy’s life appears to be based on fear, on ignorance, and on a sad lack of respect for human life, perfect or imperfect, regardless of physical, mental, or intellectual ability.
The pro-life worldview does not just apply to the issue of unborn children – it encompasses both the born and unborn. Life is sacred, precious and a miraculous gift; nobody, whether it be the state or an individual, ever has the right to take life away. Every single person, perfect or imperfect, has an inherent right to be born and to live from the moment of conception until natural death by virtue of their humanity, and any interference constitutes the taking of that life. The cruel and careless rationale that we see so often in our society today which justifies taking a life because that life will be a short-lived one is clearly at play here. Nobody is going to live forever on this earth – all life, in spite of its quality or duration – is equal and every heartbeat and breath is something to protect and cherish. Charlie Gard does not belong to the state, as the state seems to think, and to rob his parents of their right to choose life for their own child is a frivolous attack on both his parents’ and Charlie’s most basic and unalienable rights.
On Sunday July 2nd, Pope Francis released a statement in solidarity with the family, saying that he "follows with affection and emotion the case of little Charlie Gard and expresses his own closeness to his parents. For them he prays, hoping that their desire to accompany and care for their own child to the end is not ignored." In light of the Pope’s unequivocally pro-life remarks, President Trump, who proclaims himself in support of the right to life, went on to tweet that he “would be delighted” to help baby Charlie, citing Pope Francis.
"Upon learning of baby Charlie Gard's situation, President Trump has offered to help the family in this heart-breaking situation," the White House's director of media affairs, Helen Ferre, said in a statement on Monday afternoon. "The President himself has not spoken to the family" nor "he does not want to pressure them in any way," but "members of the administration have spoken to the family in calls facilitated by the British government. The President is just trying to be helpful if at all possible."
This extraordinarily sad case should stand as a stark warning sign for Ireland North and South at a time when this small country faces increasing international pressure to legalize abortion. It is a poignant reminder of the palpably devastating consequences of forsaking our most important value – the value and sanctity of each human life – in favour of following the callous pro-abortion worldview that the UK has long adopted. Since the passing of the 1967 abortion act, almost 9 million children throughout the UK, where Charlie’s battle has unfolded, have been killed by abortion.
We, the people of Ireland will protect all life, born and unborn, and we refuse to give into the imposition of the schizophrenic type of healthcare we see in the UK. The unbelievable case of little Charlie Gard exemplifies exactly what is destined to happen if abortion were to become legal here in Ireland. Abortion leads to the unapologetically eugenic discrimination that ensures that 90% of children with Down syndrome are killed by abortion in the UK every year and treats those with disabilities or illnesses as heavy burdens to be thrown off. Ireland must cherish all life equally, in order to promote a society where those with disabilities and imperfections are allowed to shine: ‘There’s a crack in everything, that’s how the light gets in. And the imperfections are where humanity is most visible.’
Please continue to pray that this precious little boy will be protected and given the right to live, rather than murdered by the same state which has for years in the UK tolerated the destruction of millions of unborn lives through the tragedy of abortion.