As the life of 9-month-old baby Tinslee Lewis hangs in the balance while Cook Children’s Medical Center in Fort Worth fights in court to remove her ventilator despite objections from her mother, a bipartisan group of Texas legislators is calling on Gov. Greg Abbott to call a special legislative session to save her life.
At the center is the controversial 10-day rule, which allows a hospital committee to end “life-sustaining care” even if the patient, or his or her surrogate, objects. The law also overrides a duly executed medical power of attorney or advance directive from the patient.
While previous efforts to repeal the law have been thwarted in the legislature, a group of lawmakers—including one Democrat—is saying that enough is enough.
“I believe our responsibility as legislators is to protect the basic rights of our citizens. This unjust law protects neither the right to life nor due process,” said State Rep. Tony Tinderholt (R–Arlington), who authored legislation this year to end the practice. “Texas Legislators can put into law a better solution. Baby Tinslee has proven herself to be quite the fighter, but no parent should have to experience what Tinslee’s mother, Trinity Lewis, has been through in the past several weeks. We ask Governor Abbott to call a Special Session to prevent future parents from having to fight for the very lives of their children.”
The lawmakers who signed onto the letter to Abbott are as follows:
State Sen. Brandon Creighton (R–Conroe)
State Sen. Bob Hall (R–Edgewood)
State Sen. Kelly Hancock (R–North Richland Hills)
State Rep. Kyle Biedermann (R–Fredericksburg)
State Rep. Dwayne Bohac (R–Houston)
State Rep. Matt Krause (R–Fort Worth)
State Rep. Mayes Middleton (R–Wallisville)
State Rep. Tom Oliverson (R–Cypress)
State Rep. Leo Pacheco (D–San Antonio)
State Rep. Jared Patterson (R–Frisco)
State Rep. Scott Sanford (R–McKinney)
State Rep. Jonathan Stickland (R–Bedford)
State Rep. Valoree Swanson (R–Spring)
State Rep. Tony Tinderholt (R–Arlington)
State Rep. Steve Toth (R–The Woodlands)
State Rep. James White (R–Hillister)
Earlier this year, grassroots leaders from across the state called on Abbott to declare a special session for the Lone Star Agenda, a platform of conservative policies intended to unite voters ahead of the 2020 elections, including pro-life reforms.
Abbott has so far remained silent on those calls and this latest letter from lawmakers.