Outgoing Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN) accused President Barack Obama's administration during a radio interview of encouraging more Central American immigrant minors to come to the U.S. for the purposes of procuring subjects for medical experiments, Right Wing Watch reported on Wednesday.
"We can't imagine doing this," she said. "But if you have a hospital, and they are gonna get millions of dollars in government grants so that they can conduct medical research on somebody -- and a ward of the state can't say no, a little kid can't say no, if they're a ward of the state -- so here you could have an institution getting millions of dollars from our government to do medical experimentation, and a kid can't even say no. It's sick."
According to Right Wing Watch, Bachmann's claim is an offshoot of her introduction of "Justina's Law," named after Justina Pelletier, the Massachusetts teenager who was the focal point of a court battle between her parents and the state Department of Children and Families (DCF) dating back to February 2013.
Pelletier's family and the agency's dispute began when Boston Children's Hospital diagnosed the girl with "a persistent and severe somatic symptom disorder," countering an earlier diagnosis by Tufts Medical Center saying her inability to walk or eat was caused by mitochondrial disease. DCF was granted emergency custody over Pelletier until she turned 18 this past March, but the ruling was reversed three months later when juvenile court judge Joseph Johnston ruled that her parents had demonstrated they could provide adequate care for her.
Right Wing Watch reported that, according to Bachmann and other religious conservatives, the hospital diagnosed Pelletier with somatoform disorder because it wanted a federal grant to study the disease
Bachmann's resolution, co-sponsored by Reps. Karen Bass (D-CA), Jim McDermott (D-WA), and Tom Marino (R-PA) subsequently accused Children's Hospital and similar facilities of having "an internal policy that allows for children who are deemed 'wards of the State,' including foster children, to receive treatment or be involved in research that presents great risk even if there is no prospect of any benefit to the child."
But in reality, the hospital's policy only sanctions research involving "greater
than minimal risk with no prospect of direct benefit" if it is related to a child's status as a ward. The policy also calls for any child included in this kind of study to have an advocate appointed to serve on their behalf in addition to any guardian or "in loco" family the child may have.
"We have 400,000 foster children in this country, and now President Barack Obama is trying to bring all of those foreign nationals, the illegal aliens, to the country and he has said that he will put them in the foster care system," Bachmann said during her radio interview. "I will tell you from personal experience, we don't have enough foster parents now in the country for the kids in America. We certainly don't have enough foster parents for all of the illegal aliens that the president is trying to bring in right now."
The remarks signify a slight change in tack from Bachmann, who earlier this month referred to the thousands of children who have emigrated from El Salvador, Honduras and Nicaragua as "invaders" and linked them to an unidentified rape case and a fatal 2008 auto accident.
Listen to Bachmann's remarks, as posted online on Wednesday, below.