Texas Courts Fight Over Woman’s Request for Abortion

(NewsSpace.com) – When the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade and returned the rights to govern abortion back to the states, several immediately enacted prohibitive legislation. Texas was one of those states, and its laws are some of the most restrictive in the nation. In fact, doctors fear performing abortions in the state because of the harsh penalties involved. One woman has now taken on the state with a special circumstance, but it looks like she’ll be facing an uphill battle.

Kate Cox, a 31-year-old woman from Dallas, sought the help of the Center for Reproductive Rights, a nonprofit, to get an abortion. The mother of two is 20 weeks pregnant with her third child and recently learned that the baby has Trisomy 18. Also known as Edwards Syndrome, it’s a genetic disorder that has a very low (5 to 10%) life expectancy. Half of those with the disorder die within the first week of birth and the rest typically die in the first year.

Cox’s attorneys argued that having the baby would put the woman at risk of developing severe complications that could impact her ability to have more children in the future, “including uterine rupture and hysterectomy,” according to Law & Crime. On Thursday, December 7, Travis County District Judge Maya Guerra Gamble granted a temporary restraining order (TRO) that would allow Cox to have the abortion. However, the state of Texas stepped in.

Attorney General Ken Paxton appealed the judge’s decision to the state Supreme Court, which halted the lower court’s order. He argued that the doctor who diagnosed Cox was “not medically qualified” to do so. Paxton also threatened the hospital where the doctor has privileges with legal action should she have the abortion in state. He further threatened the doctor and hospital that the TRO would not protect them from criminal or civil liability.

The Center for Reproductive Rights responded in a filing stating that Paxton’s request was “stunning in its disregard for Ms. Cox’s life, fertility, and the rule of law.”

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