Kate Cox was given permission by a Texas judge to get an emergency abortion, in an unprecedented challenge to the state’s ban, after the fetus was diagnosed with trisomy 18, a genetic abnormality that often results in death. The Texas Supreme Court has now temporarily blocked her from obtaining the abortion. (Submitted by Kate Cox/The Associated Press)

Texas Supreme Court temporarily blocks woman from getting emergency abortion

State's attorney general asked court to intervene after lower court allowed procedure

CBC News |

The Texas Supreme Court temporarily blocked a pregnant woman from obtaining an emergency abortion on Friday, shortly after the state’s attorney general requested the block.

The legal battle is a major test case since the U.S. Supreme Court overturned the nationwide constitutional right to abortion last year, enabling states like Texas to pass near complete bans.

The Texas court halted a lower court ruling allowing the emergency abortion, responding to a petition from Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton earlier in the day.

“Without regard to the merits, the Court administratively stays the district court’s December 7, 2023 order,” the late Friday ruling said.

The woman, Kate Cox, 31, of the Dallas-Fort Worth area, sought court authorization for the abortion because her fetus was diagnosed on Nov. 27 with trisomy 18, a genetic abnormality that usually results in miscarriage, stillbirth or death soon after birth.

Cox, who is about 20 weeks’ pregnant, said in her lawsuit that she would need to undergo her third cesarean section if she continues the pregnancy. That could jeopardize her ability to have more children, which she said she and her husband want.

“While we still hope that the Court ultimately rejects the state’s request and does so quickly, in this case we fear that justice delayed will be justice denied,” said Molly Duane, senior staff attorney at the Center for Reproductive Rights.

District Court Judge Maya Guerra Gamble sided with Cox on Thursday, issuing an order that applied only to Cox and does not expand abortion access more broadly.

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