About six years ago, there was a little boy named Charlie Gard.
Charlie lived in England, and had two loving parents who begged the country’s National Health Service to provide experimental treatment for the boy, who suffered from a debilitating condition known as mitochondrial disease.
At every turn they were stymied because the nihilistic powers that be in the U.K. determined that his life was not worth the effort.
Then, the parents tried to have him moved to the U.S. where several hospitals offered to treat the 9-month-old child. And even there, comfort, hope and relief were denied. Court after court rejected their pleas, and little Charlie Gard was allowed to die while the world watched.
In the wake of the Ohio decision last week to actually codify a “right” to abortion in its constitution, I was reminded of this sad story, this earlier example of how sterile the world had become.
Kill them before they’re born or kill them when they are too sick to be valued, it’s just a different marker on the road to inhumanity.
And then it happened all over again.
There was another child, a little girl named Indi Gregory who also suffered from mitochondrial disease. Like Baby Charlie, Indi had the misfortune of being born in England, a country that seems to have completely eradicated the concept of parental rights.
Indi’s parents, like Charlie’s before them, had fought in the courts to keep their child on life support in order to allow her to travel outside of her native U.K. and seek other experimental treatments.
But the British courts sided time and time again with the doctors who exercised an almost God-like prerogative to put a value on this innocent life. The suggestion they actually cared about this child’s welfare is completely contradicted by their actions.
They essentially allowed Indi to starve to death.
Imagine what it takes to see a child that still has that sacred spark of life within her and say: “No, your time is over.”
When you focus on the issue of abortion, as I often do, it’s easy to get lost in the semantical weeds.
People who support abortion rights benefit from the invisibility of that unborn life. They are able to argue that fetuses aren’t babies, that unless “it” can survive outside of the womb a mother’s welfare takes precedence, and no one should sacrifice an actual human for a potential one.
Those arguments can be destroyed by ultrasounds and doctors like Ben Carson, who operate on children in utero, although it is increasingly difficult in a society that does not treasure the lives we cannot see, hear and touch.
But what is absolutely gruesome is the tendency to look at sickness, at handicaps, at diminished life expectancy and reduced “quality” of life as reasons to just let go.
Being pro-life doesn’t mean you try and save the lives that matter. It means saving every possible life that exists, whether within the womb or struggling to breathe on a ventilator.
The only bright spot in this most recent tragedy is the fact that my ancestral country, Italy, stepped up and tried to save Indi’s life.
Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni convened a special session of Congress, which actually granted Indi Italian citizenship. They did this so the parents would be able to take Indi to the world famous Gesu Bambino children’s hospital in Rome, where they were willing to treat her condition.
Like a jealous lover, it said that if it could not have the child, no one would. And Indi passed away.
The mere fact that the Italian politicians put their differences aside and actually came together to honor the humanity of this suffering little girl brings me to tears. They are tears of joy, albeit mixed with bitterness.
On the one hand, my people recognized that until the flame is fully extinguished, we have the right to fight on.
They understood that parents are entitled to do everything within their power to save their children.
They made me very proud of my heritage.
On the other hand, the creep of inhumanity continues, and it’s reaching our own shores.
My only hope is that Charlie was waiting for Indi at the gates of heaven with open arms.
Copyright 2023 Christine Flowers, distributed exclusively by Cagle Cartoons newspaper syndicate.
Christine Flowers is an attorney and a columnist for the Delaware County Daily Times, and can be reached at [email protected].