Praying for Baby Tinslee: Inmates start prayer campaign for infant unjustly threatened by Texas law

As news of Tinslee Lewis’s fight for Life has gained national attention, her family has received prayers and support from around the world.  Many people are stunned to learn that Texas law gives hospitals the authority to make life-and-death decisions against the wishes of the patient and his or her loved ones.  Other cases in recent years have put a spotlight on the unjust and anti-Life law. Cases like that of Texan Chris Dunn have brought international pressure to reform the inhumane Texas 10-Day Rule, but to this day vulnerable Texans are powerless to defend their lives when a nameless, faceless hospital committee deems their lives “not worth living.”

As news of Baby Tinslee’s family’s desperate race to defend her life spread, more people have become outraged by the injustice.  Many have turned to prayer and offered their support to Baby Tinsley and her family. One group of men, inmates at Victorville Federal Correctional Institution in Adelanto, California, were inspired to organize a prayer campaign.  In a letter addressed “To Baby Tinslee and Family with sympathy,” the Christian Communities of Victorville FCI offer their prayers and explain why they were so inspired.

The letter, signed by 83 inmates, includes a clipping of the news article that sparked the prayer campaign for Baby Tinslee’s healing and notes from several men who are leading the campaign.  Mike Hodges, Sr., writes, “When I read this story and seen [sic] this precious baby girl I was moved to action.”  He adds that the men are now, “watching, praying, and waiting” for a miracle.  RJ Fisher signed with well wishes for the family writing, “Get well soon precious lil girl.”  

Victorville Federal Correctional Institution, California

In addition to the heartfelt prayer of 83 inmates, Baby Tinslee has received vocal support from Texas Governor Greg Abbott and Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton, 18 members of the Texas Legislature, Pro-Life activists, and patient advocate Bobby Schindler, the brother of Terry Schiavo.

As Baby Tinslee and her family await the ruling of an appellate court, Governor Abbot and Attorney General Paxton submitted an amicus brief in defense of Tinslee’s Life.  They write, “The statute leads to the denial of constitutionally protected interests – the right to life and right to determine one’s medical treatment.”  The Texas 10-Day Rule allows hospitals, with the approval of a behind-closed-doors, internal “ethics” committee, to remove life-sustaining treatment, even if doing so goes against the explicit request of the patient or the surrogate. 

Joe Nixon, an attorney for Tinslee’s family, has for years pointed out the trampling of patients’ rights under the Texas 10-Day Rule and fought to defend the lives of vulnerable Texans.  In a sobering observation, Nixon said, “In the end, criminals on death row have more rights than Texas hospital patients seeking to defend their lives.”

As Texas leaders and Pro-Life advocates continue to fight for Baby Tinslee’s life, her family can be assured of the continued prayers of countless people around the world, including the 83 inmates in Victorville FCI who were so moved by her story.