The Texas Supreme Court ruled to block a pregnant woman from obtaining an emergency abortion in the state. The ruling came on Friday, December 8th. The woman, Kate Cox, previously sued the state as she sought permission to obtain an abortion under emergency circumstances. The lower court that first oversaw the case ruled to allow Cox to have the abortion, but the Supreme Court told hold of the case and overturned this decision. The case is technically in a frozen state at this point due to the decision, but it pushes the woman further and further down away from the chance of getting her abortion.
Cox is currently 20 weeks pregnant with both her and the baby facing serious health risks with the pregnancy.
The unborn baby has been diagnosed with a fatal genetic condition, meaning the likelihood that the baby will even be born alive are low. Furthermore, Cox herself is facing health risks due to the condition of the baby as well as other complications she has faced throughout her 20-week pregnancy. Because of these issues, Cox and her medical team have determined that an abortion is the best option for Cox’s health. However, after the Supreme Court overturned the decision of Roe v. Wade, Texas banned abortions, except to protect the life and health of the mother. The legal definition of this has been purposely left extremely vague, which is what ultimately allowed the state to block the abortion still.
Cox and her legal team are still hopeful that the final ruling will ultimately favor her.
The Texas Attorney General petitioned the state Supreme Court to intervene after the ruling from the small court’s case. The lower court was first trying to grant a 14-day restraining order against the state’s ban, which would allow Cox to legally see through the procedure.
Texas has one of the strictest ban laws on the procedure, banning abortions after 6 weeks, which is essentially a complete ban because most women are not aware of their pregnancy at that point. The state Attorney General, Ken Paxton, has threatened legal action against anyone who aids in the facilitation of an abortion. This means that not only could the doctor(s) who perform the procedure be negatively affected, but as could the hospital and any employee who takes part in a woman receiving an abortion.
Cox’s health has very clearly been harmed due to her pregnancy, having three emergency room visits in the last month. Medical professionals have continuously expressed concerns about her continuing with the pregnancy, but the state’s right-wing political leaders continuously show their disregard for her life.