Mother Of Doomed Fetus Flees Texas For Abortion As State Supremes Rule Against Her

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by Tyler Durden
Tuesday, Dec 12, 2023 - 03:00 AM

A pregnant woman in Texas whose child has a terminal birth defect has fled the state after a week of legal whiplash over whether she qualifies for an exception to the state's abortion laws.

Kate Cox. (Kate Cox via AP)

Last Thursday, Kate Cox was granted permission to have an abortion by a state district court - the first time a pregnant woman has sought a court order for the procedure since the US Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade last year.

Hours later, however, Attorney General Ken Paxton (R) asked the state Supreme Court to immediately block the order. The Court agreed on an interim basis Friday night, followed by a 7-page ruling on Monday permanently denying Cox from having an abortion. Paxton went further following the Thursday ruling from District Court Judge Maya Guerra Gamble, warning hospitals and physicians that the court's order would not protect them from prosecution if they performed an abortion on Cox - a procedure which could carry up to a life sentence in prison.

Their reasoning? While the Court acknowledged that Cox, 31, and her husband received "a tragic diagnosis," Texas law only allows for an exception in the event that the mother "has a life-threatening physical condition," making abortion necessary to save her life or to save her from "a serious risk of substantial impairment of a major bodily function" - which wasn't asserted in her request.

"The exception requires a doctor to decide whether Ms. Cox’s difficulties pose such risks," the ruling continues. "(A doctor) asked a court to pre-authorize the abortion yet she could not, or at least did not, attest to the court that Ms. Cox’s condition poses the risks the exception requires."

The ruling also called on the state's medical board to provide more guidance regarding the "medical emergency" exception at the heart of Cox's case.

Cox's child, which is around 20 weeks old, was diagnosed with Trisomy 18, an almost always fatal chromosomal anomaly that leads to miscarriage, stillbirth or the death of the infant within hours, days or weeks after birth.

On Monday, Nancy Northup - president and CEO of the Center for Reproductive Rights, which has been representing Cox in the case, said that Cox has fled the state.

"Kate’s case has shown the world that abortion bans are dangerous for pregnant people, and exceptions don’t work," she said, adding "She desperately wanted to be able to get care where she lives and recover at home surrounded by family. While Kate had the ability to leave the state, most people do not, and a situation like this could be a death sentence."

"This past week of legal limbo has been hellish for Kate," Northup continued. "Her health is on the line. She’s been in and out of the emergency room and she couldn’t wait any longer.

"This is why judges and politicians should not be making health care decisions for pregnant people—they are not doctors."

The Center for Reproductive Rights is also representing a group of women and physicians before the Texas Supreme Court seeking clarity on the state's law, while the state argues that it's clear and adequate.

Former President Donald Trump has warned that this issue will bite Republicans in the ass come 2024, and the optics of this one are a prime example.

In September, Trump told an Iowa crowd:

“In order to win in 2024, Republicans must learn how to properly talk about abortion,” he told an audience of some 2,000 potential voters, packed into a ballroom here.

"This issue cost us unnecessarily but dearly in the midterms. It cost us dearly, really, and unnecessarily."

Trump said he would seek to bring together a bipartisan group to hear all sides of the debate. As Catherine Yang of the Epoch Times noted at the time;

"We will agree to a number of weeks, which will be where both sides will be happy. We have to bring the country together on this issue."

15 Weeks?

He claims the activists pushing for abortion on demand with no restrictions represent only an extreme view that even many pro-life Democrats are against.

"Nobody wants to see five, six, seven, eight, nine months," he said, adding that laws that allow mothers to terminate babies even after they have been delivered alive should be done away with.

Asked whether he would sign a 15-week ban that made it to his desk, he said "no."

"Let me just tell you what I’d do. I’m going to come together with all groups, and we’re going to have something that’s acceptable," he said. "What’s going to happen is you’re going to come up with a number of weeks or months. You’re going to come up with a number that’s going to make people happy. Because 92 percent of the Democrats don’t want to see abortion after a certain period of time."

He said many people have offered up the "15-week" period for a ban, which is early into the second trimester, but he wouldn't consider legislation without bringing more people into the room first.

"I would sit down with both sides and I’d negotiate something, and we’ll end up with peace on that issue for the first time in 52 years," he said, declining to say whether he would support a federal ban.

"I’m not going to say I would or I wouldn’t," he said, adding that he was proud of the overturning of Roe v. Wade because it gave the power back to the states.

"For 52 years, people including Democrats wanted it to go back to states so the states could make the right," he said. "I did something that nobody thought was possible, and Roe v. Wade was terminated, [it] was put back to the states. Now, people, pro-lifers, have the right to negotiate for the first time."

He clarified that the consensus he hoped to bring could result in state-level action instead of a federal ban.