Abortion rights activists, medical professionals and ordinary women warned the Supreme Court in advance of the Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization decision: Legislatures cannot dictate medical decisions without creating horrendous injustices and medical travesties. A recent case from Texas, which has a ban on abortions after six weeks, leaves no doubt about the merits of that argument. The Texas case undermines the rationale for abortion bans and adds to Republicans’ political liability on an issue uppermost in the minds of many voters.
As the Texas Tribune aptly put it, “For the first time in at least 50 years, a judge has intervened to allow an adult woman to terminate her pregnancy.” The woman, Kate Cox, was forced to seek relief because Texas’s six-week ban makes an exception only to save the life of the mother. “At 20 weeks pregnant, Cox learned her fetus had full trisomy 18, a chromosomal abnormality that is almost always fatal before birth or soon after,” the Tribune reported. “Cox and her husband desperately wanted to have this baby, but her doctors said continuing the nonviable pregnancy posed a risk to her health and future fertility, according to a historic lawsuit filed Tuesday.”
The judge, confronted with a real person and a specific medical trauma that defied the ideological straitjacket right-wing lawmakers constructed, sided with Cox on Thursday. “The idea that Ms. Cox wants desperately to be a parent, and this law might actually cause her to lose that ability is shocking and would be a genuine miscarriage of justice,” Travis County District Judge Maya Guerra Gamble held. On Friday night, however, the Texas Supreme Court stepped in to order a stay of Gamble’s ruling, throwing Cox into limbo again. [Continue reading…]
A pregnant Texas woman who was seeking court permission for an abortion in an unprecedented challenge to one of the most restrictive bans in the U.S. could not wait any longer and went to another state, her attorneys said Monday.
The announcement came as Kate Cox, whose fetus has a fatal condition, was waiting for the Texas Supreme Court to rule whether she could legally receive an abortion. Her baby’s diagnosis has low survival rates and her attorneys said continuing the pregnancy jeopardized both her health and ability to have more children.
“Her health is on the line. She’s been in and out of the emergency room and she couldn’t wait any longer,” said Nancy Northup, president and CEO of the Center for Reproductive Rights, which was representing Cox. [Continue reading…]