October 16 was a big day for Life in Texas.
Baby Tinslee in Fort Worth was subjected to the anti-life 10-day rule, and they tried to pull the plug on her last fall. They said in court that she couldn’t live much longer.
It’s a year later, and she lives.
Her mother filed for a temporary injunction and challenged the constitutionality of the 10-day law.
The result at the district court wasn’t favorable, but the court granted Baby Tinslee’s appeal, which required life-sustaining treatment until there could be a hearing. This was similar to a previous case a few years ago, which ultimately wasn’t heard because the patient died and the court ruled that the case was moot.
But Baby Tinslee didn’t die, and the case proceeded.
The appellate court granted the temporary injunction that protected Baby Tinslee from being cut off. The appellate court issued a lengthy, 156-page opinion which addressed the constitutionality of the 10-day rule.
No stone was left unturned in that opinion.
The hospital then requested that the Supreme Court of Texas review the finding, which was denied on October 16. That means the lower appellate court ruling stands and is a matter of precedent. This decision was on the temporary injunction, but the constitutional reasoning in the opinion drew no formal objection from the Supreme Court.
Texas’ 10-day law is the worst in the country.
We have always believed it was unconstitutional. People have the right to life, and the government can’t take life, liberty, or property without due process.
The 10-day law essentially gives safe harbor to doctors and hospitals that followed a certain procedure because their legal liability is limited by the law.
It seems the appellate court believed that would make the doctor and hospitals state actors against the patient. Generally, the appellate court opined that the 10-day law was probably unconstitutional, and now, by not reviewing the case, the Supreme Court of Texas is letting that ruling stand.
This case only grants the temporary injunction so far ,and there is a lot of legal wrangling still ahead. But this ruling by itself substantially changed the state of the issue.
It is a great day for patients in Texas hospitals.
Last legislative session, there was a substantial compromise worked out to improve the law somewhat, but it didn’t correct the principal constitutional question.
House leadership killed that bill at the absolute, very last minute.
We were angry and very disappointed in the broken commitments and lies. If that bill had passed, it is not clear if Baby Tinslee would have been able to make history by getting this ruling. Was the House leadership’s bad action a blessing in disguise?
Our congratulations to Texas Right to Life, the best pro-life people in the state, who drove this issue and have supported it for two decades with untold time and money to secure this win.
In the process, they stood alone as a pro-life organization by being the only ones to help patients in Texas hospitals who have been condemned by this bad law. They’ve helped hundreds of families over the years.
Today, Baby Tinslee lives. And she has made history.
This is a commentary republished with the author’s permission. If you wish to submit a commentary to Texas Scorecard, please submit your article to [email protected].