Our Leadership Circle is a special way for individuals, churches, and businesses to support Texas Alliance for Life. Membership includes an invitation to attend our quarterly luncheons featuring prominent pro-life figures and elected officials.
Talented author, Misty Boyd, joined us at the January 2019, Leadership Circle Luncheon to share her unique perspective on living with spina bifida. Her view is a personal one; it’s her own story.
Diagnosed just after birth, the doctor who delivered Misty apologized to her family when he realized her condition. He said, “I’m so sorry — if I would have known sooner, we could have done something.” He went on to recommend her parents withhold treatment and feeding and allow her to die. In his opinion, she was dying anyway, it was unlikely she’d make it through the night, if she did it was unlikely she’d make it through childhood, all her life would be spent suffering, and she would be a vegetable. As she shared her message at the age of 35, 16 surgeries later, married, with a fictional novel based on her life written and published, it is clear Misty defied those odds. The physician who attended to her birth shockingly lowballed Misty’s ability to live a quality life and contribute to this world. Misty’s story speaks to the value of the lives of babies born with disabilities. Misty also strongly supports a bill to ban “wrongful birth” lawsuits in Texas, one of our top priorities. She said, “As a disabled person, I will not stand by and allow the message to be delivered to my disabled peers that who they are is not acceptable… and that their parents should be able to sue doctors simply because they exist… I found my voice. I will speak for those who cannot speak for themselves.
Dr. David Smith, Executive Director of Austin Baptist Association, gave the invocation at the event and drove Misty’s point home as he shared the story of his daughter, Bethany, also born with spina bifida. Five weeks before her due date, a specialist told David’s wife she wished she had come in to see her sooner so they could have taken care of the problem, aka the baby with spina bifida. The doctors told them their daughter would never walk, she would be mentally handicapped, and she would possibly never sit up. 12 surgeries later, Bethany, now a senior at Baylor University, is beautiful, brave, strong, intelligent, and just as dearly loved by them today as she was when they found out she had spina bifida As David said as he summed up her journey thus far, “Our Heavenly Father has a great way of redeeming things that the world says are nonredeemable. Bethany’s story is another which points to how valuable every life is.
Executive Director, Dr. Joe Pojman, provided an overview of Texas Alliance for Life’s legislative goals for the 86th Legislative Session as we work with our partner organizations — The Texas Catholic Conference of Bishops, Texas Baptist Christian Life Commission, Texans for Life, and so many more. Among our goals is to completely defund Planned Parenthood at the state and local levels, to ban wrongful birth lawsuits, and to continue to increase funding for the state’s very successful alternative to abortion program.
Abby Johnson shared about the upcoming movie based on her time working with Planned Parenthood, Unplanned. Abby encouraged attendees to purchase tickets on opening weekend to support the movie as it’s first released. This early support goes a long way in communicating to theater chains that there is enough interest to open it up in more theater screens and for more weeks across the country Information on that is available at www.unplannedfilm.com.
We thank all the members of the Leadership Circle. Their support is the backbone of our organization. For more information about our Leadership Circle, visit here.