I’m writing to you from London, where I was invited by and am advocating on behalf of two courageous parents in the middle of a crisis that could happen to any of us. You’ve seen the heartbreaking headlines, I’m sure. British officials and hospital leadership at Great Ormond Street Hospital in London had refused to turn over the treatment decisions for 11-month-old Charlie Gard to his parents, who have been fighting against efforts to remove the child’s life support and to move him to a hospital willing to explore treatment options. Charlie suffers from a rare genetic disorder, mitochondrial DNA depletion syndrome, which can cause weakened muscles and organ dysfunction, among other symptoms. When I learned of their struggle, I could not turn away.
The media is reporting that the hospital is requesting a new hearing for Charlie “in light of claims of new evidence relating to potential treatment for his condition.” Your support is making a difference!
Back in the United States, I got to know Charlie’s mother, Connie, over the phone and via email. When she asked me to come to London to advocate for her family, as they faced a life and death struggle, I knew that Charlie stood a better chance with our help. After White House officials called me to ask for a meeting to brief us on their efforts, I flew out from Washington, D.C. that night and have been working around the clock to help the family.
Before today, there were hospitals and doctors, the Pope, the U.S. President, 37 European parliamentarians, and celebrities offering to do all they can to help the family. But standing in their way had been a group of medical authorities unwilling to give Charlie a chance. But now, finally, it seems that they may be listening. Charlie is not yet out of the woods. But if Great Ormond Street Hospital is willing to give Charlie a chance, we are delighted to work with them to give Charlie a fighting chance at life.
I am Charlie. We all are Charlie. He could be my child, or your child, or any one of us, as we age or get sick or injured. The life and death struggle facing Charlie’s parents is more common than you think, which is why we are fighting for the parents’ right to determine their own son’s welfare, to give Charlie a chance at life.
As the legal arm of the pro-life movement, we fight for legal protection of life from conception to natural death. The mentality that devalues life goes beyond abortion. More and more we see extreme pressures put on people when they face a health crisis to end life rather than explore care.
URGENT: Click here to Sign Our Petition Asking the Great Ormond Street Hospital to allow Charlie’s parents to make life-affirming decisions on his medical care, no matter the decision of the court that will hear this new appeal! Hearings are expected on Monday and Thursday next week. We need to let them know that we are watching and standing with Charlie and his family.
Please stand with Charlie Gard and his family. And thank you for standing with Americans United for Life. I couldn’t be here, as a voice for hope, without your support.
Catherine Glenn Foster,
President & CEO
Americans United for Life
On Monday, I will be talking with anchor Piers Morgan about AUL’s advocacy for Charlie Gard’s family on Good Morning Britain,
which airs 6 to 8:30 a.m. (BST) (11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Eastern).