"Congress must prioritize four repairs for the immigration system before contemplating any DACA-style amnesty negotiation, said Brat: 1. Ending chain migration and the visa lottery; 2. Mandating employer use of E-Verify; 3. Construction of a southern border wall; and 4. Interior enforcement of immigration law." REP. DAVE BRAT
I once participated in a debate where I was asked to describe the constitutional rights afforded to the unborn. For me, the answer was easy because I've studied the Founders. For the other guy – who completely dodged the question – it was just another opportunity to spout some platform slogans about choice and women's rights.
Many people argue abortion based on what's fair, but our nation's laws are based not on the left's version of "fairness" any more than statutes (ought to) derive from government-mandated compassion. The supreme law of the land is the Constitution, and our Founding Fathers provide incontrovertible insight as to their understanding of the unalienable right to life.
The very first sentence of the Constitution declares that the document's central purpose includes the aim to "secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity." As Glenn Beck notes, "[w]ho are our posterity, if not our unborn children and grandchildren and great-grandchildren?" To deny the Constitution's application to future generations is to erroneously deduce that the Founders intended their labor to last only a few years. Every constitutional provision that secures a human right was designed just as much for the protection of the rights of the unborn as for the rights of the born.
James Wilson, one of six men to sign both the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution and a member of the first Supreme Court, lectured on constitutional law with Washington, Adams, and Jefferson in attendance – ostensibly endorsing his interpretations. As such, scholars typically concede that "Wilson, when speaking on the law, might be said to be speaking for the Founders generally."
During one such lecture, "Of the Natural Rights of Individuals," Wilson clarified: "In the contemplation of law, life begins when the infant is first able to stir in the womb. By the law, life is protected not only from immediate destruction, but from every degree of actual violence, and, in some cases, from every degree of danger."
Wilson's explanation unequivocally guarantees the right to life for a fetus. "When the infant is first able to stir in the womb" refers to the "quickening," which Bouvier's Law Dictionary and Concise Encyclopedia, Volume 3 (originally published in 1839) describes as "the sensation a mother has of the motion of the child she has conceived." This was the moment in which a mother of the 18th century would know for certain that she was pregnant.
There is significant debate about when quickening occurs, with many citing Bouvier's estimation of "usually about the sixteenth week from conception," concluding that abortion should thus be legalized before the four-month mark. But to close the book there would be a grave injustice. First note that when referring to the embryo at his initial stage of conception, Bouvier calls him "the child." What kind of child exactly, if not a human child?
Bouvier continues, "The child is, in truth, alive from the first moment of conception. ... As life, by law, is said to commence when a woman first becomes quick with child, so procuring an abortion after that period is a misdemeanor. ... Quick with child is having conceived."
Indeed, even if we subscribed to the notion that the baby's movement alone signified life, we must acknowledge that a baby may move without the mother's noticing. BabyCenter's entry for eighth-week fetal development offers the following: "Your baby has started moving around, though you won't feel movement yet." This is reiterated at weeks eleven and twelve, not noting the mother's ability to feel the infant's motion until week eighteen. The child's heart begins beating as early as week five. Remember that Wilson attributed life to the infant's ability to stir, independent of its mother's acknowledgment. Speaking purely physiologically, we should at least be able to recognize the child's right to life once his heart starts beating – and at five weeks, that's roughly when a mother would find out anyway.
Either way, a mother's recognition of her child is not what grants him life. God is. As John Witherspoon, signer of the Declaration, once remarked, "[s]ome nations have given parents the power of life and death over their children. But here in America, we have denied the power of life and death to parents."
As quoted above, Wilson explained that the Constitution protects the unborn "from every degree of actual violence, and in some cases, from every degree of danger." This explains statutes like one in early Virginian law: "But if a woman be with child and any gives her a potion to destroy the child within her, this is murder. For it was not given to her to cure a disease but unlawfully to destroy the child within her."
This law echoes the words of William Blackstone, whom James Wilson cited. Says Blackstone, "For if a woman is quick with child, and by a potion, or otherwise kills it in her womb; or if any one beat her, whereby the child dies in her body, and she is delivered of a dead child; this, though not murder, ... remains a very heinous misdemeanor." The Founders drew from such legal observations.
But we're missing the point. Wilson was referring not to medicine, but to accountability, using a phrase his audience would recognize as the society's current understanding of fetal development. The implicit principle of his statement is that once you know, you are responsible. By constitutional law and medical testimony, the child is alive whether the mother knows it or not, and once she knows, she must take care of her child.
Some might argue that Wilson's designation is set, that the Constitution remains tethered to the 18th-century understanding of its writers. This is ludicrous. The Founders well knew that medicine and technology would advance. The 2nd Amendment applies not just to muskets any more than the freedom of the press applies only to movable type. Morse code and phone calls are protected under the 1st Amendment, as is the exercise of religious devotion to a church not around at the time of America's founding, such as Mormons, Jehovah's Witnesses, and Seventh-Day Adventists. The Constitution must not be maligned to include areas not intended in the document's writing, but it is clear that the Founders provided for advancements in those fields that are protected, however many years into the future.
As attested by historian David Barton, "[w]ith today's technology, it is now possible to know with a certainty that life is within the womb ... only a few days after conception. Regardless, whenever it is known that life was within, according to the documents penned by our Founding Fathers, at that point, unborn life was to be protected under the law."
The Founders undoubtedly crafted their revolutionary texts so as to secure the blessings of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness for the unborn.
So which constitutional rights do our future children enjoy? All of them. Read any quote from the Founding Fathers about your right to life, property, conscience, association, religious freedom, privacy, labor, and more, and smile knowing that your posterity has been endowed with the same rights by the same Creator. He is the one who gives life to the unborn, and we are not to take it away.
Richie Angel is the co-editor-in-chief of The New Guards. Learn more at thenewguards.net, on Facebook at The New Guards, and on Twitter @The_NewGuards.
uly 9, 2017
The left's war on Christianity and why it hates Trump
Do you remember the video that was played at the 2012 Democratic National Convention, “Government is the Only Thing We All Belong To”? The title of that video is the crux of the beliefs of the left, not just in the U.S., but everywhere. In contemporary America, Democrats have become congruent with the left, and the belief that the government owns us is a pervasive sentiment.
Why is this? Democrats, as a political party, have literally denounced religion, particularly Christianity. At that same Convention in 2012, the delegates filled the arena with loud booing during the attempt to reinstate the word “God” into the Democratic Party platform.
Persecution of Christians was practically Obama administration policy, including lawsuits of Christians refusing to subordinate their beliefs to government mandates. Even the Little Sisters of the Poor were made to suffer for refusing to be a party to forced distribution of contraceptives .
In her book, “Godless: The Church of Liberalism,” Ann Coulter writes:
Liberalism is a comprehensive belief system denying the Christian belief in man’s immortal soul. Their religion holds that there is nothing sacred about human consciousness. It’s just an accident no more significant than our possession of opposable thumbs. They deny what we know about ourselves: that we are moral beings in God’s image.
In the absence of belief in a higher power, government naturally becomes the almighty deity. Without God, humans are soulless creatures no better than wild animals, and it stands to reason that they should not be trusted with personal freedoms. We must therefore belong to the government.
Then along came Donald Trump. He does not believe in big government. He dislikes politicians, regulations, and bureaucracy. The people he has hired in his administration have similar beliefs. The Republicans, who hold majorities in both houses of Congress, also believe in smaller government (for the most part).
Imagine, if you will, that your religion has been usurped by priests or ministers that do not share your beliefs. Imagine that Satan has been elected Pope. (No, I’m not comparing Pope Francis to Satan. But there are a lot of strange things happening at the Vatican lately). This is the gut-wrenching horror that the left is currently experiencing. Their god is slowly dying, trampled on by heretics and blasphemers.
President Trump is not your typical politician. His penchant for prolific Tweeting is decidedly not presidential, at least to the true believers in government. Trump is a heretic in the Church of State. He does not take his role as secular Pope of the nation with the proper solemnity.
Trump says that he is “modern day presidential”. As such, the modern day president has set up his own rules. If these new rules failed him, it would be painfully obvious to him and his administration. But they haven’t, at least not to this point.
His Tweets have successfully driven his sworn enemies, the left and the leftist media, absolutely crazy to the point of making them lose focus on their mission to “resist” and sabotage his agenda. Instead they have become obsessed with his impropriety as the leader of their government religion. As a consequence, he deserves secular excommunication, aka impeachment.
Trump’s strategy is winning. He needs to continue to use social media to isolate and completely cut the leftist media out of the loop.
The American left has shown itself to be dangerously unstable. For them, politics is not a trivial pursuit, it is a deadly serious bloodsport, and they play to win. On the other side, Trump is playing political “rope-a-dope”. Like Muhammad Ali bouncing against the ropes to dodge George Foreman’s powerful roundhouse blows in the “Rumble in the Jungle,” he is fending off the relentless attacks of the left with stealth and cleverness.
American politics can be distilled down to whether or not you believe in a higher power than government. “We hold these Truths to be self-evident, that all Men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness….” Thus wrote Thomas Jefferson in the Declaration of Independence.
Are human rights endowed by our Creator, or bestowed by government? That is the basic question and conflict in America. In order to resurrect their government god, the Dems must destroy our Creator. But first, they must destroy our President.
The plight of Charlie Gard and his parents is awakening consciences around the world. What could be more clear-cut than this case? Parents who love their baby have found the money to try a treatment that just might save him. But doctors, British courts, and the European Court of Human Rights (Ministry of Love, anyone?) are all colluding against them. Against a baby. Why? That’s the staggering question. What do all these powerful people care if two parents try this treatment? Are they afraid that it won’t work? Not at all. They’re straining at the leash to shut off his food and water. To turn off his respirator. Are they scared it will cause him anguish? Zero evidence for that.
Gianna Jessen is an abortion survivor and pro-life activist. She has testified before the U.S. Congress, the Australian Parliament and the British House of Commons. Now Gianna has taken up the cause of Charlie Gard, the English boy sentenced to death by European courts. (The Stream has reported the details of Charlie’s story here, here and here.) This week on Twitter, Gianna mentioned two things that “amaze” her about Charlie’s case. The “worldwide outcry” for Charlie, and the “equally as deafening” silence of some “clergy, believers in Jesus, and those who claim conservatism.”
She’s a biomedical scientist. She has spoken before world leaders. She leads a premier pro-life organization in Africa. Now, Obianuju (Uju) Ekeocha wants to make a feature-length documentary. African women are exploited by Western-funded family planning organizations, Ekeocha says. She wants to amplify those women’s “ignored and unheard voices,” and she’s already begun the work. But it will take $22,000 to produce. So far, she’s raised over $7,000. Ekeocha, president of Culture of Life Africa, spoke with The Stream about her goals for the documentary. (Click here to see the GoFundMe page.)
The Little-Noticed Horror in the Charlie Gard Case
Charlie Gard’s life will offer him “no benefit” if he lives, according to a member of his hospital’s legal team. If he gets the treatment his parents are seeking — and if it works — it would bring him such “significant harm,” it would be “inhuman to permit that condition to continue.” And that’s why his doctors and the court ruling on his life’s worth want him to die.
As Americans wonder how a court in England has the power to decide whether a baby’s parents can get him medical treatment, and as the President and the Pope have weighed in as well, there’s an aspect to the Charlie Gard case that is getting far too little attention. It is unnerving, it is disturbing, and it must be addressed, since it is part of a larger attitude that is incredibly dangerous.
“The Best Thing We Can Do Is Terminate Them”
In short, it is the attitude that some humans do not have the right to live because others deem their existence too difficult or painful or burdensome or pointless. And since they are considered unworthy or unproductive or unnecessary, the best thing we can do is terminate them.
“There is significant harm if what the parents want for Charlie comes into effect,” according to hospital legal team member Katie Gollop. “The significant harm is a condition of existence which is offering the child no benefit.” And, she added, “It is inhuman to permit that condition to continue.”
In other words, it is inhuman for Charlie’s parents to try to save his life – or at the least, extend his life – if he might end up in a “condition of existence” that Ms. Gollop (or the courts) deem to be of “no benefit” to the child.
Who else might fall into that category? Other handicapped children? The elderly with severe dementia? The mentally ill? What other “conditions of existence” should be terminated as well?
In 2015, it was reported that “650 babies died under Holland’s assisted suicide law [in 2013] because their parents or doctors deemed their suffering too difficult to bear.”
The report at LifeSite News continues, “Although the law was designed to help terminally ill patients have a dignified death, the right to die has also been granted to a growing number of people who are physically healthy but have psychological problems. Official figures show that 13 patients suffering from mental illness were euthanized in 2011; by 2013 this number had risen to 42 patients.”
As many as 650 babies are killed by doctors in the Netherlands each year.
The article goes on to say, “And it is not just adults who are being euthanized. According to the Royal Dutch Medical Association, as many as 650 babies are killed by doctors each year because they are deemed to be in pain or facing a life of suffering.”
Read those words again. They are tragic regardless of cause or rationale: “as many as 650 babies are killed by doctors each year.”
To be clear, I do not want to minimize the agony involved in some of these decisions. Many of the cases involved unimaginable suffering for families and individuals, and the choices they made were far from easy.
“Comfortable” With Aiming at Infants’ Death
So, I’m not sitting here as their judge and jury. They answer to a perfectly just God who is also perfectly compassionate.
The moment we take the life of someone whose existence we deem unworthy or unproductive or unnecessary, we are already well down a perilous, slippery slope.
But what I can say is this: The moment we take the life of someone whose existence we deem unworthy or unproductive or unnecessary, we are already well down a perilous, slippery slope.
As Catholic professor Charles C. Camosy noted, “The ‘quality of life’ and ‘benefit from continued life’ judgments being made in the Charlie Gard case have little or nothing to do with the burden of the baby’s artificial ventilation. No, if Charlie started breathing again after ventilation was removed, the judge would not be pleased with the outcome. He, along with many others, have explicitly made the judgment that Charlie’s life overall is not worth living.”
Camosy closed his article with “a worry about where this kind of reasoning is already leading us. Secular medical ethics,” he stated, “is becoming more and more comfortable with directly aiming at the death of infants like Charlie. Indeed, the Journal of Medical Ethics held an ‘infanticide symposium’ back in 2013; the title they used for the special journal issue? ‘Abortion, Infanticide, and Allowing Babies to Die.’”
Where Else Will This Lead?
Really now, if unwanted babies can be terminated in the womb and babies with too-severe conditions can be terminated outside the womb, why can’t a host of others be terminated, from the youngest to the oldest? If it’s OK to let certain babies die, why not take their lives directly?
Or to approach this from a different angle, did the Nazis perpetrate the Holocaust out of thin air, or did they take incremental steps along the way, first deeming other groups unworthy of life?
Writing for Newsweek in 2015, Dustin Ross observed that, “The Dutch can now choose death if they’re tired of living.” What happens when they decide that others are tired of living, especially those who can’t speak for themselves?
One of my closest friends has a grandchild named Jude who suffers from a highly unusual, almost always fatal condition. He nearly died in the womb and has nearly died numerous times in his three years of life so far, with health crises and emergencies and medical interventions being the norm.
It Is the Battle for All of Us
Jude can smile (which he often does) but can’t say any words, and he cannot move on his own. He remains the size of an infant, totally dependent on his family and nurses and doctors.
Yet he has brought incredible joy to his parents and grandparents, all of whom say he is the greatest blessing God has ever given them. And he has changed the lives of thousands of others, including mothers who were about to have an abortion but decided against it after hearing his story, and Christians who had turned away from God but returned to the faith after encountering Jude.
I fear that some judges in England and some doctors in Holland would deem Jude’s “condition of existence” to be of “no benefit” to this dependent child. In response I can only say: Woe be to the world when such thinking becomes the norm. You or I might be the next on the list.
That’s why the battle for Charlie Gard is the battle for all of us. Let us stand and act and pray.
New York City Hospital Offers to Admit Charlie Gard or Ship Treatment
On the condition that "legal hurdles are cleared" and the FDA approves of the experimental treatment.
Video Grab/Good Morning Britain via YouTube
Connie Yates, mother of Charlie Gard, the UK baby with a rare genetic disorder, speaks on Good Morning Britain about her son's case in June 2017.
A New York City hospital has offered to admit Charlie Gard or ship treatment to his hospital in the U.K.
New York Presbyterian Hospital and Columbia University Irving Medical Center issued the statement Thursday Night. According to a report by CBS, it has “agreed to admit and evaluate Charlie.”
The hospital made the offer on the condition that “arrangements are made to safely transfer him to our facility, legal hurdles are cleared, and we receive emergency approval from the FDA for an experimental treatment as appropriate.”
The hospital also offered to ship the experimental treatment to the U.K., should the FDA approve.
Eleven-month-old Charlie has a rare mitochondrial depletion disorder. He cannot move or breathe on his own. His parents, Connie Yates and Chris Gard, want to take him to the U.S. for experimental treatment. They have raised over $1 million in private funds to do so.
However, Charlie’s doctors say the treatment won’t work. They insisted he must be taken off life support to prevent further suffering. British courts have ruled in favor of the doctors. Charlie’s parents even appealed to the European Court of Human Rights. But last week, the court declined to hear their case. Currently, the previous court rulings against Yates and Gard stand.
On Friday, Yates appeared on Good Morning Britain.
“I’ve heard from the doctors that there’s around a 10 percent chance of this working for Charlie,” she said of the experimental treatment. “So I think that’s a good enough chance to take … In some sense people may say that’s a small chance, but when it comes to medicine that’s quite a big chance. Because sometimes you’ll do chemotherapy and there’s only a 2 percent chance of it working, but you still try, cause everybody wants to live, you know.”
“Euthanasia’s illegal, suicide’s illegal, how is this legal?” she added.
According to the BBC, Yates also told Good Morning Britain that Charlie is not suffering as his doctors insist.
“We are not bad parents,” she said. “We are there for him all the time, we are completely devoted to him and he’s not in pain and suffering, and I promise everyone I would not sit there and watch my son in pain and suffering, I couldn’t do it.”
Though their legal options seem all but exhausted, Charlie’s parents haven’t given up. Yates has reached out to the Vatican, which also expressed support for Charlie.
On Sunday, Pope Francis issued a statement saying he prays Charlie’s parents will be able to treat him until the end. He also tweeted his support:
Earlier this week, the Vatican children’s hospital offered to take Charlie, free of charge. But when Italian Foreign Minister Angelino Alfano officially made the offer in a phone call to British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson, Johnson declined. He said decisions should “be led by expert medical opinion, supported by the courts,” according to his spokesman.
According to The Sun, an unnamed source claims the Pope is looking into making Charlie a citizen of the Vatican City in order to transfer him out of the U.K. The Sunalso quotes Vatican Secretary of State Cardinal Pietro Parolin, who says “we are doing whatever we can.”
President Donald Trump also expressed his support for and interest in helping Charlie.
On Monday he tweeted that “if there is a way the U.S. can help, “we would be delighted.”
According to the BBC, Yates told Good Morning Britain she believes the White House could be responsible for helping to postpone Charlie’s death. Originally he was scheduled to be taken off life support last Friday, but the hospital postponed.
“And then it was going to be on the Monday instead but I think the White House got involved over the weekend and then that changed things,” she said.
According to The Telegraph, Trump will broach the difficult topic with British Prime Minister Theresa May during the G20 Summit. May previously backed Great Ormond Street Hospital, where Charlie is staying.
'If the worst happens today I don't know how I'll cope': As Charlie Gard's mother Connie today faces a judge who will decides her son's fate, she gives her most impassioned interview yet
Charlie Gard's parents are trying to debunk eight 'myths' around his condition
Couple locked in High Court battle with Great Ormond Street Hospital doctors
Medics say 11-month-old has brain damage and should be taken off life support
As judge decides his fate his mother Connie have her most passionate interview
She said: ‘Hope has kept us going all this time. Until you find yourself in a situation like this, you have no idea how powerful hope is’
Baby Charlie Gard was freshly bathed, dressed in a pure white babygro and with his beloved toy monkeys at his side, as his mother, Connie Yates, looked deeply into his eyes. After eight unbearable months, the day she and her partner, Chris Gard, had dreaded had arrived.
Their son’s life support was to be withdrawn, and Charlie, their beautiful, silky-haired, brown-eyed boy, would die.
Over that weekend — the extra time doctors had given them to make ‘precious memories’ with Charlie — friends and family had paid their visits to say goodbye.
They’d travelled from far and wide, some coming from Scotland, for one last kiss. Connie had carefully cut his nails, keeping the tiny clippings, taking handprints and footprints of his fingers and toes in different coloured paints.
Medics say 11-month-old has brain damage and should be taken off life support. Pictured is Connie Yates (left) when she was pregnant with Charlie and (right) with her son
Connie Yates and Chris Gard, and their son, Charlie a few minutes after he was born
Charlie Gard's paternal grandparents say their goodbyes to their grandson at GOSH
‘Chris and I lay next to Charlie, and we cried more than we’ve ever cried before,’ she says. ‘Chris was in pieces. I hated it, knowing I couldn’t do anything to help my boys. I kept shaking my head in disbelief at what was happening.’
Their battle — for that is exactly what this couple has been waging over the past few months — was finally coming to an end.
The previous week, on June 27, their application to the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg had failed. It effectively closed the last legal avenue of appeal for the couple who are pleading to take their profoundly sick, 11-month-old son to the U.S. for controversial (and futile, say his doctors) treatment.
With a heavy heart, the judge ruled that Charlie’s life support should be switched off, allowing him to ‘die with dignity’.
But then, a few days later, there was an astonishing reprieve. In a development that almost defies imagination, Chris, 32, and Connie, 31, were told by a member of staff at Great Ormond Street Hospital that Charlie wasn’t going to die that day after all.
The hospital had decided to refer the case back to the High Court, persuaded by an 11th-hour letter from Connie, citing evidence from seven scientists arguing that the U.S. treatment might work.
What did they feel? Relief? Vindication? Hope? Or yet another heart-lurching loop in the rollercoaster that has become their version of ‘normal’ life?
Connie goes with ‘hope’. ‘Hope has kept us going all this time,’ she says. ‘Until you find yourself in a situation like this, you have no idea how powerful hope is.’
Connie Yates and Chris Gard are trying to debunk eight 'myths' around their desperately ill son Charlie's condition so people can talk about the case from a position of up to date news'
Doctors at Great Ormond Street Hospital want to take 11-month-old Charlie off life support and claim he has brain damage
His parents have gone to the High Court, pictured, to try to convince a judge to allow them to pursue an experimental new drug treatment
Connie and Chris, pictured, say there is no 'clear evidence' their son is in pain and suffering
Today, when the family returns to the High Court for what is expected to be the final time, they will learn Charlie’s fate.
Mr Justice Francis gave them 48 hours to gather new evidence. He needs to be convinced on two key areas: that the treatment — a medicine which is taken orally — would even reach Charlie’s brain; and second, that if it did, it would make any difference, given the doctors’ continued insistence that Charlie is significantly, and irreversibly, brain damaged.
Yesterday the Gards’ spokesman, Alasdair Seton-Marsden created yet more controversy when he appeared on a U. S. TV show and described how Charlie was ‘effectively being held captive by the British state’ in its refusal to allow him to go to America.
Whatever your stance in this torturous case, which has touched hearts the world over, you cannot help but feel for this couple.
One minute an anonymous pair of 30-somethings from West London, facing the agony of losing their much-loved son to a rare genetic condition they’d unwittingly passed to him; the next a cause celebre, involving the highest courts in the world, the Vatican and the White House.
They’ve even been joined by a controversial pastor, the Rev Patrick Mahoney, who flew in from Washington to pray for them. All of it has been totally overwhelming, says Connie.
She recalls the day she discovered the Pope had joined their fight: ‘I wrote a letter to the Vatican a few days previously. I was having a breath of air outside the hospital. I went back inside and Chris said: “You won’t believe this — the Pope has just tweeted.” ’
The couple are being supported by thousands of people, many of whom have campaigned for his survival outside the court, pictured
Connie and Chris, who delivered a petition of more than 350,000 signatures to Downing Street last weekend, also take issue with Charlie's brain damage diagnosis
He was referring to a comment made by Pope Francis on Twitter — ‘To defend human life, above all when it is wounded by illness, is a duty of love that God entrusts to all’ — which everyone took as a direct reference to Charlie’s case.
‘It was amazing,’ says Connie, who has never followed any religion. ‘It gave us hope Charlie was meant to live — I joked about this being the start of our miracle.’
The next day that hope continued when President Trump also tweeted his support, declaring: ‘If we can help little Charlie Gard, we would be delighted to do so.’
‘We were amazed,’ says Connie. ‘These were the most powerful men in the world and they supported us.’
The family are also being supported by controversial US reverend Patrick Mahoney who has flown in from Washington DC to help their campaign
It doesn’t matter that Mr Justice Francis — in whose hands Charlie’s fate ultimately lies today — has described her and Chris as the most devoted parents, Connie still blames herself that things have gone this far.
‘When we lost another court case, when things haven’t gone right, I’ve always felt I’ve let Charlie down,’ she says. ‘We had literally tried everything to give our son a chance, but we failed. We’d lost our rights as parents.’
Recalling the day she prepared her son for his death, she says: ‘All our family had said their goodbyes. I can’t put into words how horrible it was watching Charlie’s grandparents see him for the last time, Charlie’s auntie and uncle and everyone else . . . absolutely heartbreaking.
‘I looked around the intensive-care unit. Charlie was the most stable baby in there, but he was the one who had to die in a matter of hours. I thought: “Why him? What did he do wrong?” ’
‘Everything set off more tears. I looked at the clock, which said 7pm, and I cried because it would be the last time Charlie would be alive at 7pm. We felt as though people thought we were bad parents. Yet we know that our son isn’t suffering. We couldn’t watch him suffer.’
KISS FOR CHARLIE FROM HIS US LAWYER
Planting a tender kiss on the head of stricken Charlie Gard, this is US attorney Catherine Glenn Foster
Planting a tender kiss on the head of stricken Charlie Gard, this is US attorney Catherine Glenn Foster, who posted the photo on Twitter yesterday.
The evangelical Christian flew to London to join ‘Charlie’s Army’ at the request of his parents Connie Yates and Chris Gard as they prepare for today’s High Court hearing to determine their son’s fate.
Mrs Glenn Foster wrote on Twitter: ‘Connie snapped this photo as I was sharing a moment with baby Charlie.’
The 36-year-old, who is chief executive of anti-abortion lobby group Americans United for Life, says she is helping Charlie’s parents with medical and legal issues.
She joined radical pro-life pastor the Rev Patrick Mahoney, who last night posted a video of himself outside the High Court calling for ‘12 hours of prayer’ in the battle to get treatment for Charlie.
Another thing this tragic case has revealed is the sheer spirit of this tiny blonde woman, with the haunted, tear-stained face, who’s become a symbol of unfaltering, mother’s love.
While she and Chris — who worked as a postman — have presented a united front in their fight for their son, it is Connie who has emerged as the formidable, driving force.
The only daughter of a carer and a firefighter, who herself worked as a carer for adults with learning difficulties before Charlie’s birth, Connie has shown herself to be steely, intelligent and eloquent. ‘The doctors certainly underestimated Connie,’ says one of her friends.
Connie admits that when Charlie was first diagnosed, she spent hours, days and nights researching his condition until she became an ‘expert’ on it.
Incredibly, given Connie’s impressive performances in court and in front of the cameras, her mother, Elizabeth, still maintains that her daughter is naturally very shy.
‘She would never willingly put herself in the limelight,’ she says.
‘Everything she does, every piece of publicity, is for Charlie. Her only thoughts are for him.’
Connie and Chris met through friends in 2010, and were thrillled when they learned they were to become parents. When Charlie was born, a healthy 8lb 3oz last August, there was nothing to suggest the agony that was to come. ‘When Chris held Charlie for the first time, I looked at them and thought: “My boys.” I was so happy,’ remembers Connie.
After taking Charlie home to their flat in Bedfont, West London, their lives revolved around their newborn, who, initally, hit all his baby milestones. ‘When he was eight weeks, Chris cradled him and Charlie flashed him the biggest smile ever,’ she remembers. Of course, she and Chris had no idea that they are both carriers of a gene for an incredibly rare condition known as mitochondrial depletion syndrome.
Together, there was a one in four chance of Connie and Chris producing an affected baby. Had either of them had a child with anyone else, they might never even have known that they carried the gene. Charlie’s strain of the disease is so unusual that it’s thought to have affected only 16 people in the world; it cruelly and systematically saps energy from vital organs and muscles.
Unsurprisingly, while Charlie might have appeared fine to others, it was Connie’s innate mother’s instinct which led her to first consult doctors about her son’s health. When she mentioned to a health visitor that Charlie was losing weight and seemed floppier than friends’ babies of the same age, she was reassured that it was probably just a virus.
But Connie took Charlie to hospital to be checked out anyway, and over the next few hours it became clear that Charlie was seriously ill. Soon, his lung muscles were so weak he needed a ventilator to breathe and he was rushed to Great Ormond Street for tests. The diagnosis was a bombshell, and doctors soon told Connie that there was nothing they could do. They believed Charlie should be allowed to ‘die with dignity’.
The parents of Charlie Gard have been given two days to submit new evidence that illustrates how experimental drug treatment could improve the health of the critically-ill baby
But Connie and Chris refused to believe that nothing could be done for their little boy.
‘He is such a bonny baby,’ Connie says. ‘While other babies in the ICU died or constantly had one emergency after another, Charlie continued to thrive.’
Her research led her to Art Estopinan, whose son, Arturito, had a similar mitochondrial depletion condition. Arturito was the first patient in the U.S. to receive pioneering treatment known as nucleoside bypass therapy.
Administered orally, it is said to work by giving the sufferer the compounds a healthy person naturally produces — called deoxynucleosides — which supposedly ‘repair’ their DNA.
Since receiving the treatment — while Arturito is still on a ventilator and his own parents describe his bedroom as an ‘intensive care unit’ — the six-year-old has made a remarkable improvement and has even begun to move his limbs.
Connie stepped up her research. ‘I found a case where the therapy had worked well on a Spanish girl who was able to ride a bike,’ she says.
Charlie's Army were outside the High Court this afternoon demanding Charlie is flown to the US as a judge agreed to a new hearing on Thursday
Chris Gard and Connie Yates released this new picture of their son Charlie and are 'overwhelmed' after Donald Trump and the Pope offered their support
She even produced photos purporting to show a curly-headed toddler on life support and later, apparently after she had undergone treatment, riding a bike.
Connie and Chris approached doctors at Great Ormond Street to ask whether Charlie could be considered for the treatment.
Their hopes were dashed in January when his team said they believed Charlie’s condition had caused structural brain damage, which could not be repaired by any therapy, meaning the treatment was totally ‘futile’.
Connie and Chris would not accept the ruling. ‘We have never felt Charlie is as bad as doctors make out,’ says Connie. ‘And I defy any parent of a sick child who is told by an eminent doctor there may be a chance of saving that child’s life not to want to take it. We only wish people could trust us as his parents.’
With Great Ormond Street refusing to administer the treatment, the couple decided to go public and took their plight to the media. They launched a crowdfunding campaign and raised an astonishing £1.3 million for Charlie to be transferred privately and receive the therapy in the U.S.
Moment terminally ill baby boy Charlie Gard opens his eyes
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Rev. Patrick Mahoney (right) said he was finally able to come in and pray with Charlie Gard and his parents (pictured)
But despite having the funds to pay for the treatment, still the High Court refused to allow Charlie to go. His medical team argued that the baby was suffering and the trip would only prolong that agony.
But Connie and Chris refuse to believe that their son is in pain.
‘We have never understood why, as parents who know our child best, who have spent hours by his bedside, our opinions count for so little,’ she explains.
Her frustration that the courts have constantly blocked their wishes as Charlie’s parents is palpable.
Once they hardly dared speak out against Great Ormond St Hospital for fear of upsetting staff who have, after all, kept their son alive. But now there is nothing to lose. Even if getting treatment means Charlie becomes an American citizen (as suggested by two pro-life U.S. Congressmen), agreeing to a photo opportunity with Nigel Farage (the family’s spokesperson Alasdair Seton-Marsden is a former Ukip candidate) or allowing controversial U.S. pastor Rev Patrick Mohoney to speak for them at the recent rally. Whatever it takes, is their attitude.
Charlie Gard's parents share touching gallery of their son
The 11-month-old has twice survived plans to end his life support – last Friday and again this Monday
Poignantly, if the couple lose the court case today, at least they know what is ahead. Having been through it once already, they are all too aware of the agony of saying goodbye.
Yet still the thought of having to turn off Charlie’s life support, is unbearable.
Connie admits: ‘I can’t go there. I still can’t think how I will cope if the worst happens.’
What is certain, however, is that when she sits with Chris at the High Court today, the last thing on her mind will be the millions of supporters around the world, waiting for the judgment.
She will be thinking only of Charlie — and that if the result is not what she wants, her efforts were simply not good enough.
Charlie Gard's mum Connie Yates: 'I hope my son has that chance'
Katie Gollop, Q.C. is lead attorney of the Great Ormond Street Hospital legal team, which has been fighting for eight months to terminate the life of Charlie Gard. Mrs. Gollop represents the legal position that Charlie Gard needs to die. Her team successfully argued that case in the British courts and then submitted the ruling in favor of killing Charlie to a higher European territorial judicial system.
Mrs. Gollop is neither a physician nor a member of Charlie's family, but she has concluded that further treatment would leave the boy in a "condition of existence," which she indicates is distinct from having a human life. Mrs. Gollop and the mindset she represents have an economic interest that sick babies should be deprived of medical treatment. And they have a political interest that the government gain final and ultimate control over the lives of children.
The claim of administrative law to determine whether a living person has not life, but mere existence is morally and philosophically identical to slavery.
It is often said that the cruelest aspect of slavery as it was practiced in the United States was the right of a slave owner to separate children from their parents whenever it served the owner's economic interest. There were complicated regulations regarding the treatment of slaves. But because slaves were understood to have not lives or families of their own, but mere existence, there was no law preventing slave owners from separating babies from their mothers and fathers. Historians estimate that one third of children in slavery were removed from their parents before the age of six.
The most famous formerly enslaved abolitionist, Frederick Douglass, wrote that slave owners purposefully separated children from their mothers to prevent the development of affection. This extreme inhumanity was used to instill utter helplessness and impose absolute power over the mind of the enslaved person. Harriet Beecher Stowe emphasized the immorality of separating families in her famous novel and in other writings.
The Magna Carta states, "No free man shall be seized [arrested] or imprisoned, or stripped of his rights or possessions ... except by the lawful judgment of his peers." The person of Charlie Gard has been seized by Great Ormond Street Hospital. Christopher Gard and Connie Yates have been stripped of their rights to care for their son without any charges preferred against them and without lawful judgment of their peers. The only reasonable conclusion is that the Gard parents are not free men.
Britons never, never, never shall be slaves? Whatever the next step for Charlie Gard may, Britons are slaves already.
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