WASHINGTON, D.C., July 19, 2017 (LifeSiteNews) – A U.S. House committee voted yesterday to approve Charlie Gard as a permanent U.S. resident, but the bill isn't law yet.
Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler, R-Washington, introduced the amendment to a homeland security spending bill. In order for the bill to become law, it will have to pass the House and Senate and be signed by President Trump. Some media are overstating the amendment's impact and reporting that Charlie is now a U.S. citizen. This is not the case.
An overwhelming majority of the committee voted yes on a voice vote.
Herrera Beutler called it an “opportunity for us to stand with a family who are right now fighting for their son's life.”
“I strongly believe, having faced … similar circumstances, that parents have the most at stake when it comes to standing up for their children,” said Herrera Beutler. “The people that most, I believe, know or are going to err on the right side of the best interest of their child is the parent[s].”
Herrera Beutler's daughter, Abigail, was born without kidneys. She was told the condition was 100 percent fatal. She and her husband convinced a doctor, after much begging, to inject saline solution into her uterus to help the baby develop properly. Abigail was born and lived on dialysis for three years, and then her father donated a kidney to her.
Abigail is the first baby born with her condition to survive.
Herrera Beutler pointed out that doctors in the U.S. and Rome have offered to treat Charlie. She named Dr. Michio Hirano, the American doctor who examined Charlie for five hours yesterday.
Hirano “has said his treatment could have an 11 to 56 percent chance of … bringing meaningful improvement to Charlie's condition.”
Herrera Beutler's amendment “basically, it would speed up the process” of making Charlie a “lawful, permanent resident” of the U.S. She said she thinks it sends an important message “that should the UK decide to release this child, that we welcome him with open arms.”
UK media are reporting that Great Ormond Street Hospital remains unconvinced by Hirano's analysis. The Daily Mail released a photo from Charlie's parents, Chris Gard and Connie Yates, of him looking at a toy. This photo calls into question the hospital's claim that Charlie is blind.
Great Ormond Street Hospital and Charlie's parents have been fighting in court about who gets to decide his course of care. The hospital wants the right to determine what happens to Charlie. It argues his life support should be pulled.
Charlie's parents have raised more than $1.5 million to bring him to the U.S. for experimental treatment. The judge is expected to make a decision on or around July 25.