Texas woman sues over abortion law that could prevent her from having another child
Austin, Texas - A Texas judge has agreed to hear a woman's request for an emergency court order seeking permission to receive an abortion after her fetus received a fatal diagnosis.
A Dallas-area woman named Kate Cox, who is 20 weeks pregnant, has filed suit against the Texas attorney general's office and the state's medical board. She launched the case after doctors told her that her baby, diagnosed with trisomy 18, will likely be stillborn or live for at most a week after birth.
The 31-year-old mother of two has had two prior C-sections. If her baby's heartbeat were to stop, inducing a pregnancy could rupture her uterus, while having a third C-section should she carry to term might risk her ability to have another child.
An abortion via dilation and evacuation would be the safest way to terminate the doomed pregnancy, but Texas' six-week abortion ban has left many providers unable to act in patients' best interests for fear of severe legal repercussions.
"I do not want to continue the pain and suffering that has plagued this pregnancy or continue to put my body or my mental health through the risks of continuing this pregnancy," Cox wrote in an editorial in the Dallas Morning News.
"I do not want my baby to arrive in this world only to watch her suffer."
Texas women challenge anti-abortion law
Texas has one of the strictest abortion laws on the books, enacted in the wake of the June 2022 Supreme Court decision reversing the landmark 1973 Roe v. Wade ruling.
Cox's lawsuit comes just days after the Texas Supreme Court heard a case brought on behalf of some two dozen women who were denied abortions even though they had serious – in some cases life-threatening – complications with their pregnancies.
Abortion access has been recently upheld by several international bodies as a fundamental human right.
Cover photo: Mark Felix / AFP